T Natarajan India`s top performer in their last T20I series against Australia is in doubt for the T20I series against England that gets underway on Friday due to a knee and shoulder injury.
Natarajan may Skips T20I vs England
Speaking to ANI, sources in the National Cricket Academy (NCA) confirmed the development and said that while they are not completely ruling him out, it is surely a race against time.
“He is down with a knee and shoulder injury and is in doubt for the T20I series. Will have to take it one day at a time and it is a race against time,” the source pointed.
Rahul Chahar in for Varun Chakravarth
Spinner Varun Chakravarthy could also be replaced by Rahul Chahar in the squad as the former failed to clear the mandatory fitness test. Rahul was already in the reserves for the Test series and with Chakravarthy not being able to clear the test, Rahul would be a like for like replacement.
The Mumbai Indians spinner has earlier played a T20I for India against the West Indies. Coming back to Natarajan, while him missing out would be a huge blow, what can comes as a slight relief is that all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Tuesday posted a video on Twitter which saw him fine-tuning his bowling skills.
Hardik has in recent times stuck to playing as a finisher in the national team. While he did bowl in the second ODI against Australia in Sydney in November, he did point to slight discomfort and the question on everyone`s mind has been whether he will return to bowling consistently any time soon.
In a video shared by Hardik on Twitter, while he was seen practising the big shots to begin with, he also bowled full throttle towards the end of the clip. “Preparation done. Can`t wait to get on the field on the 12th,” Hardik wrote.
The upcoming five-match T20I series against England will help India garner perfect practice before the T20 World Cup which is slated to be played in October-November this year in India. The Indian team will also lock horns with England in a three-match ODI series once the T20I series ends.
While the T20I matches are to be played in Ahmedabad, the ODIs are slated to be played in Pune.
India’s T20I squad
Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.