Canberra, Dec 17: A major blow for India as injury woes continue to torment the team. Ishant's replacement will be chosen in the next 24 hours. Though the team management tried to down play the injury scare, Ishant Sharma is unlikely to play in the three day match against Cricket Australia's Chairman XI starting on Monday.
Moreover, even if he's declared fit for the first test against Australia starting on Dec 26, the team management might have to name a replacement for the rest of the tour as chances of him getting injured seems to be more prominent.
Else, gambling with the option of retaining the Delhi bowler will increase the woes of the team management as they would be repeating the mistake of the England tour, where Zaheer Khan hardly bowled in the tour opener and later was ruled out of the rest of the series due to a hamstring injury.
While for now, everyone are keeping their fingers crossed as injuries have taken its toll on the players and their selection for the upcoming series against Australia, Dhoni and the management just hope injury wouldn't be an issue with Zaheer during this series as he has never completed a full tour of Australia.
During his previous visits, in the year 2003, he played two Tests while the last time around in 2007-08, he played only one in Melbourne. Though he captured 10 wickets from the three Tests, his average is almost 40.00 for each wicket which is another concern.
Moreover, the pace spearhead, Zaheer Khan, was seen bowling only once as he bowled for 20-odd minutes on Thursday while he didn't turn up for the optional nets at the Manuka Oval on Saturday. It remains to be seen if he's back to form during the three day practice match against Chairman's XI starting on Monday.
With the recent development, another player has been added to the already big list of injured players in both squads as the numbers are increasing every day with Aussies facing more number of injuries ahead of an important tour.