POST TIME: 22 February, 2021 07:32:41 PM
India likely to end spin trio ploy with Umesh's inclusion
Cricbuzz, Bangalore

India likely to end spin trio ploy with Umesh's inclusion

A journey which should have been an 80-minute flight in normal times, will take more than 12 hours for Shardul Thakur to reach his next match destination, after he was released by Team India late on Sunday night. The Mumbai pacer has to make his way from Ahmedabad to Jaipur, where his side will be part of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

"We are helpless, we cannot do anything else in the current situation," said Sanjay Naik, the secretary of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). It will be a dawn-to-dusk 700 km drive for Thakur.

"He will take the car at 5 am (on February 22) and should reach by evening in Jaipur. If we had chosen to fly him down he would have had to take three-day quarantine in Jaipur. This way he will be ready to play on Tuesday itself if he feels ok," the MCA official said on receiving the go-ahead from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that the all-rounder is free to join the Mumbai team.

Thakur's release is an obvious consequence of Umesh Yadav attaining expected fitness and this happened in the last 24 hours, a Team India source confirmed to Cricbuzz. "He has cleared the fitness test as per new guidelines for the Indian players," said the source. An India player has to clock either 17.1 (previously it was 16.1) in a Yo-Yo test or clear the two km run in eight minute and 30 seconds to be eligible to play for the country.

The source did not reveal which of the tests Umesh was put through but revealed that the 33-year-old pacer is in the scheme of things for the third Test against England, starting at the Motera in two days' time, because the team management is contemplating reviewing the three-spinners ploy that was adopted in the first two Tests.

Is it because of the pink ball and the twilight factors? "We are exploring different scenarios about the Test and the main concern is neither twilight nor the pink ball. It is the dew factor that is a worry and we are thinking how to handle the situation. There is a lot of dew in the evenings and we want to make sure it does not become a major disadvantage," the source said, confirming that having an extra pacer in place of an extra spinner is one of the considerations.

Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, R Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar comprised the bowling line-up in the first Test with Mohammed Siraj, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav replacing Bumrah, Nadeem and Sundar in the second Test. Third Test could well see the return of Bumrah and Umesh in place of Siraj and Umesh.