India's mounting injury toll has claimed another high-profile victim, with reports pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the fourth and final Test in Brisbane.
Bumrah, who's is arguably India's best bowler, is set to be an enforced omission for the Test series decider at the Gabba, having been one of several fresh injury concerns for India from the drawn third Test in Sydney.
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The 27-year-old was nursing an abdominal injury during the showdown at the SCG, with reports out of India saying the team will not risk the fast bowler exacerbating the injury.
The Press Trust of India claims Bumrah suffered a minor strain during a fielding mishap at the SCG, meaning the fast bowler will be withdrawn from the tourist's XI for the Gabba finale.
That scenario would leave Mohammed Siraj, who only made his Test debut in Melbourne, to lead a severely depleted pace attack, with Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur and Thangarasu Natarajan also battling for inclusion in India’s XI.
Regular skipper Virat Kohli, who welcomed the birth of his first child late on Monday night, headlines the list of unavailable talent for the tourists.
India have also been weakened by the absence of quicks Mohammed Shami (arm), Umesh Yadav (calf), Ishant Sharma (side) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (thigh), while KL Rahul has returned home because of a wrist injury.
The latest news about Bumrah has left India's diehard cricket fans in disbelief at the team's rotten run of misfortune on the injury front.
I was really looking forward to the Gabba test but if Bumrah not available its massive jolt and Australia have 95% chance of winning this.things going from bad to worse on the injury front. Hope our key players recover in time for England series #AUSvsIND #GabbaTest https://t.co/5fjzBDMnS8
— Praveen 🇮🇳 (@praveen101080) January 12, 2021
After Vihari and Jadeja ruled out, Bumrah ruled out too 😭
News incoming that Mayank injured himself, going for Scans 🤞🏻
Pant and Ashwin already doubtful 😢
Will even XI players remain till 15th or Ravi Shastri to play as All-rounder 😭
— Shreya Singh (@Viratoholic) January 12, 2021
— Saket Kanoria (@skkanoria) January 12, 2021
Rohit is back in to the team
Hardik was back
Bumrah was back in form
Everything was going well until 3rd test match
And now bumrah ruled out from last test match 😣😣
— Hemanth Shaiva 2.0 (@Hemanth__Shaiva) January 12, 2021
Jasprit Bumrah ruled out of the fourth Test. The list is getting longer and longer. #AUSvIND
— AHM Nayeem (@AhmNayeem49) January 12, 2021
Bumrah out, Mayank possibly out. Dear god.
— Manish K Pathak (@manishpathak187) January 12, 2021
— Vaskar Gautam (@vaskarhere) January 12, 2021
— AryanKumar (@IAryanKr) January 12, 2021
Bumrah not playing in next test 😭😭😭😭
— Ankit Rao (@Ankit_rao1) January 12, 2021
No Jasprit Bumrah for Brisbane!
And a final word on Mayank due.
What in the world...🤷🏾♂️🥺#AUSvIND
— Navneeth Krishna (@navkrish55) January 12, 2021
The four-Test series between Australia and India is locked at 1-1 after a dramatic draw in Sydney, meaning the Border-Gavaskar trophy will be up for grabs at the Gabba.
The tourists will be forced to make at least one other change to their incumbent side because of the enforced omission of Ravindra Jadeja (dislocated thumb).
Hanuma Vihari is also in extreme doubt for the final Test after tweaking his hamstring on Monday, especially given there is just a three-day break between games.
Rishabh Pant's arm injury will be assessed but the visitors expect he will be right to play.
Star batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is continuing to manage a finger injury, while Ravichandran Ashwin's wife Prithi revealed the offspinner had been in "unbelievable pain" because of a back injury.
Turnaround a massive test for both sides
The tight turnaround between the third and fourth Tests also sees Australia's bowlers face their toughest challenge in eight years after sending down 131 overs on Sunday and Monday during a frustrating finish to the the Sydney Test.
Not since December 2012 have they had such a tight three-day turnaround after bowling more than 130 overs in a fourth innings.
Back then it ended in tears, pounded by South Africa in Perth, after the Proteas batted through 148 overs four days earlier to hold on for a draw in Adelaide.
Days later South Africa whacked 569 in their second innings as Australia used an all-new pace attack with James Pattinson injured and Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus rested.
It prompted a 309-run win for South Africa, in ironically what is still the last full-on decider to be played in Australia, with the series level going into the final Test.
Australia's workload management system is far different now and bowlers won't be rested like in 2012-13.
But regardless Paine said they would be fit and ready for the Test at Australia's Gabba fortress on Friday.
"I don't think (it will be an issue)," Paine said.
"They are pretty well conditioned to it now. They handle the load pretty well.
"They know they have a rest after the Gabba and I think they enjoy bowling there.
"It's a bit easier on the body, seeing the ball fly through it's a bit easier for them mentally as well, it's enjoyable for them up there.
"They'll be fine to go."
Working in Australia's favour at least is that spinner Nathan Lyon got through so much work, sending down 46 overs.
Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins both bowled 26 each, while Mitchell Starc, who played in that Perth match in 2012-13, bowled 22.
It will no doubt make the toss vitally important, with Australia likely desperate to bat through day one to give their bowlers on extra day of rest.
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