India played with five bowlers in the second, third and fourth Test match against Australia. However, they could only use four in the second innings of all these Test matches due to a spate of injuries. Umesh Yadav could only bowl 3.3 overs in the second essay of the MCG Test, Ravindra Jadeja couldn’t even take the field in the Sydney Test whereas Navdeep Saini could only bowl five overs in the second innings at the Gabba due to groin injury.
Consequently, when T Natarajan was facing a relentless Mitchell Starc in the first innings of the Gabba Test match, Ajinkya Rahane thought of declaring the innings as there was a risk of another injury, which would have left the Indian team with three bowlers.
India had already been hampered by a spate of injuries and if T Natarajan or Mohammed Siraj would have been injured, the task of dismissing Australia in the second innings would have become almost impossible.
Ravichandran Ashwin revealed that Ajinkya Rahane wanted to declare when T Natarajan was nervously facing Mitchell Starc.
Ravichandran Ashwin said while talking to R Sridhar on his YouTube Channel, “That over when he faced Mitchell Starc. The nervous moments you guys went through(team management) while he was at the crease. In fact, our captain wanted to declare being afraid of another injury.
“R Sridhar: “Captain came charging to the coaches room. ‘Shall we declare? If he gets injured, we will be left with only three bowlers in the second innings.’
“Ashwin: “That was the problem. Rahane must have been worried if he or Rohit Sharma might have had to bowl.”
Meanwhile, T Natarajan had a brilliant tour of Australia and scalped three wickets on his Test debut. Earlier, Natarajan had also impressed in the limited-over series as he had scalped six wickets in the three T20Is against Australia.
India were able to rise as a unit despite being hampered by a plethora of injuries. The team’s stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane also did a fine job in leading from the front and deserves a lot of credit.
On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin played a key role in drawing the Sydney Test match despite back issues. Ashwin also scalped 12 wickets in the three Test matches he played.
India will now face England in a four-match Test series in the home conditions. The first Test will take place at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai from February 5.