Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma are confirmed to be ruled out of the Australian series’s first two tests.
Their participation in the final two tests also appears slim as decisive action is required from the BCCI.
Ishant Sharma suffered an injury during the IPL and has regained bowling fitness.
Ishant bowling fitness, however, is still not at test match level.
Ishant Sharma has the fitness to bowl in limited-overs games but is still four weeks away from test match bowling.
The fourteen-day quarantine also plays a factor as it will not allow Ishant Sharma to travel.
With the quarantine procedures in play, Ishant Sharma and the BCCI will have to put up a great effort to make it to the third test.
His absence is a big one as India will miss a tall fast bowler who can extract the bounce in Australia.
Ishant Sharma is an accurate bowler as well and can reach a good pace.
His ability to bowl long spells will further be missed as he usually takes up long stretches allowing the others to work in short bursts.
Ishant Sharma’s bowling workload has increased over the last few weeks, but making it in time for the final two tests is tough.
India has picked a decent group of back-up pacers in Kartik Tyagi and Ishan Porel, while Siraj and Saini are already in the test squad.
The limited-overs squad also has T Natarajan called up as a replacement in the Test squad.
The pace attack has decent depth, and there are many options to replace Ishant Sharma for the tour.
His experience and ability to belong spells will be absent, but India’s talent pool will bring in quality bowlers even then.
Rohit Sharma has suffered a hamstring injury during the IPL and is still recovering.
He played in the last few games of IPL despite injury but chose to return to India for recovery rather than flying to Australia with the Indian team.
With the quarantine procedure, Rohit Sharma may be out at least till December twenty-second.
Since he isn’t a part of any bio-bubble, Rohit Sharma will also not have the opportunity to train during quarantine as the Indian team did.
He would instead have to isolate and wait two weeks before getting a chance to practice.
His absence in the limited-overs sides already seems big, as Rohit is best against pace.
His ability to play the short ball will be missed throughout the tour, and India can only hope he returns for the final two tests.
With Virat Kohli unavailable for the last three tests, the Indian side will undoubtedly be short of experience, with Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara having to step up.
The selectors may look to add Shreyas Iyer in Rohit Sharma’s absence.
Shreyas Iyer is already in the limited-overs sides and has been called-up for tests in the past.
He is yet to make his test debut, and in Rohit Sharma’s absence, he may find his way into the Test squad.
While Rohit Sharma didn’t show too much discomfort playing through injury in the IPL, the test match workload may be too much to handle.
Risking him for the test series early is a risk as it requires staying on the team for more extended periods.
This is the latest update and is crucial, with Virat Kohli set to return after a test match.
The third test starts on January seventh, and the two players will be racing against time to make it for the third game.
If not for quarantine, the return may have been more comfortable for both players along with Virat Kohli, as he could have returned for the fourth test as well.
The Indian team will be missing quite a few big names, and it will be interesting to see how the next set of players rise to the occasion.