India vs New Zealand: Ishant Sharma's ankle injury rules him out of Christchurch Test, Umesh Yadav to replace him

FirstCricket Staff

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma will miss the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch after his ankle injury has flared up again.

Ishant's absence comes as a body blow to the tourists who are trailing 1-0 in the two-match series.

India were consigned to a 10-wicket defeat by Black Caps in Wellington, but despite the heavy loss, the tall bowler had emerged as one of India's key performers, claiming a five-wicket haul in the first innings of the match.

According to an report in Cricbuzz, Ishant will be replaced by Vidarbha pacer Umesh Yadav in the XI.

Ishant's ouster could leave the Indian team management red-faced as the speedster, who was out of action for a month owing to his ankle injury suffered during Ranji Trophy in January, came as a last-minute addition to the playing XI in the first Test and is now forced to sit out of the must-win game.

Incidentally, when India's Test squad was announced on 4 February, Ishant's name was included on subject to fitness clearance.

Ishant just made it in nick of time to join rest of his teammates in New Zealand for the Test at Basin Reserve, which left the quick with no time to take part in any warm-up matches and was instead fast-tracked into the playing XI for first Test.

Umesh, who made his Test debut in 2011, is in line to play his first Test in New Zealand. Lately, Umesh has shouldered the responsibility of toiling on home surfaces, providing an opportunity for the other fast bowlers to rest and also use reverse swing to take wickets.

Umesh last played an away Test in 2018 at Perth in Australia where Virat Kohli's men fielded four fast bowlers.

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