TN pacer Natarajan to replace Umesh Yadav in Sydney Test

'Yorker King' Natarajan has been included in the Test team as Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami will be returning home after suffering injuries

Natarajan forced centurion Labuschagne (108 off 204 balls) and Matthew Wade (47 off 85 balls) to miscue their pull-shots after a 113-run stand which threatened to put India in a spot.| File Photo: Twitter/BCCI

A calf muscle injury to pacer Umesh Yadav during the second Test at Melbourne has given ‘Yorker King’ T Natarajan a chance to play for India for the remainder of the series against Australia. He has been included for the third Test in the team announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday (January 1).

Rohit Sharma, who recently joined the team after his injury layoff, has been named vice-captain of the team to be led by Ajinkya Rahane, who is standing in for regular captain Virat Kohli currently on paternity leave.

The third Test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy will be held at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) starting January 7.

Both Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami will be heading back home with injuries and later to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for rehabilitation, the BCCI said.

Natarajan earned the nickname ‘Yorker King’ after he made batsmen dance on their toes during the recently concluded IPL. Natarajan belongs to a poor family from Chinnappampatti, located about 36 km from the Salem city in Tamil Nadu. His parents manage a small food stall.

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Natarajan made his T20 international debut in Australia during the current tour. He played in all the three T20s and also made his ODI debut in the same tour.

Team India Test squad (for the third Test): Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan.

Rohit Sharma is back

Meanwhile, star batsman Rohit Sharma completed his quarantine and joined the Indian team in Melbourne for practice.  Rohit’s return is seen as a big boost for Team India at a time when several key players have been ruled out of the Test series due to injuries, including skipper Virat Kohli who has flown back home for the birth of his first child.

A video shows the entire squad welcoming Rohit Sharma as he entered the hotel in Melbourne. Amongst those seen in the video shared by BCCI were KL Rahil, Ravindra Jadeja, T Natarajan, Jasprit Bumrah, Mayank Agarwal, skipper Ajinkya Rahane and coach Ravi Shastri. The coach was also seen having a friendly chat with the opener.