The Indian team management is likely to prefer Shardul Thakur over left-arm pace sensation Thangarasu Natarajan in the third Test against Australia in place of injured Umesh Yadav.
According to sources, senior pacer Yadav, who had earlier missed the third Test due to a calf muscle tear, is heading home for rehabilitation after being ruled out of the fourth and final Test in Brisbane as well.
The third Test begins in Sydney from January 7.
“While people are excited about the brilliant progress shown by T Natarajan, we mustn’t forget he has played only one first class match for Tamil Nadu. And Shardul has been a seasoned domestic red ball pacer for Mumbai,” a BCCI source privy to developments in Australia told PTI on Thursday.
“Shardul was really unfortunate that his Test debut against West Indies ended abruptly due to injury even before he could bowl an over. He has been shaping up well and might replace Umesh in the playing XI,” the source added.