SYDNEY (AP) — India has drafted Thangarasu Natarajan into its limited-overs squad as injury cover for the tour of Australia and set a Dec. 11 date for Rohit Sharma’s fitness test in the hope of having the star batsman available for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
India and Australia were to meet Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground to start a series of three one-day and three Twenty20 internationals. The four-match test series is set to start with a day-night match in Adelaide on Dec. 17.
With skipper Virat Kohli scheduled to leave the tour following the first test to be at home with his wife for the birth of their first child in January, India will need top-order backup that Sharma can offer.
India’s squad finished a 14-day quarantine in Australia on the eve of the series-opener, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India later released a statement saying Natarajan, a left-arm seamer, had been added to the squad as cover for Navdeep Saini, who had a back problem.
The uncapped Natarajan was already in India’s T20 squad after performing well for Sunrisers in the Indian Premier League.
The BCCI said Rohit Sharma was in Mumbai undergoing rehabilitation on an hamstring injury and his medical assessment next month “will have clarity on his participation in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia.”
Fast bowler Ishant Sharma has recovered from a side strain sustained during the IPL but has been ruled out of test series against Australia.
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