Injured quick Sharma on track for Tests

Rob Forsaith
·2-min read

Veteran paceman Ishant Sharma has bowled at full pace in India and is on track to be passed fit for what would be his fifth Test tour of Australia.

Sharma played one Indian Premier League match then returned home in September because of an abdominal muscle tear, extending what has been an injury-cursed year.

The tourists remain hopeful that Sharma and star batsman Rohit Sharma, who helped Mumbai win the IPL final then flew to India to continue his recovery from a hamstring injury, will be able to take part in the four-Test series that begins on December 17.

Ishant Sharma has provided the greatest indication yet that he will be cleared to hop on a flight.

The 32-year-old bowled a couple of long spells at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday, coming in off the long run as chairman of selectors Sunil Joshi, medicos and India's academy coach Rahul Dravid watched on.

Sharma, provided he pulls up well from the session, may soon be heading to Sydney.

India have a red-ball tour game on December 6-8 then a pink-ball clash on December 11-13, meaning Sharma could yet get some match practice in before the Test series.

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami headline the visitors' potent pace attack, having claimed a combined 37 wickets during India's maiden Test series win in Australia during 2018-19.

But Sharma knows local conditions better than any other player in the touring party and his arrival would be a big boost to India's chances of a series win.

The lanky fast bowler made headlines around the world as a teenager tearaway in 2008, when he worked over Ricky Ponting in a fiery spell at the WACA.

Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has posted a clip of hamstrung wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha batting in the nets during a session in western Sydney.

Saha, who India coach Ravi Shastri recently declared is the "best gloveman in the world", missed the IPL finals after tweaking both hamstrings but the tourists expected he will be fit for the first Test.

Indian report that Bumrah and Shami are both likely to be rested at different stages of the limited-overs series.

There is no suggestion either quick is carrying an injury but team management want to try to ensure they are physically fresh and ready for big workloads during the four-Test series.