23 Dec 2020: Shami sidelined for six weeks, could miss England Tests
Indian pace spearhead Mohammed Shami has been sidelined for six weeks, owing to his wrist fracture.
It is understood that Shami could also miss the opening Test against England during the impending home leg.
Rehab: Shami's rehabilitation could last six weeks
A BCCI source revealed that Shami's rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) might last as many as six weeks.
"He is not likely to play the first Test versus England as rest and rehab will take six weeks. Once the plaster is off, he will do his rehab at the NCA (National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru)," the source said.
Fact: How did Shami sustain the injury?
While batting on Day 3 of the D/N Test, Shami was struck on the right arm off a bouncer bowled by Pat Cummins. The bowler retired hurt as India recorded their lowest-ever Test total (36/9d). It was later reported that Shami has suffered a fracture.
Absence: Team India will miss the services of Shami
Shami has been the nucleus of India's bowling attack, especially in Test cricket.
Team India will certainly miss his services even though there are several resources in the arsenal.
One of Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj could be included in the XI, considering their raw pace. The duo was hostile in the Day/Night tour game.
Notably, Ishant Sharma is also not available against Australia.
Fact: Leading wicket-taker for India since 2018 (Tests)
Since 2018, Shami has been India's leading wicket-taker in Test cricket. In 23 Tests, he has picked up 85 scalps at an incredible average of 24.02, including 3 five-fors. His compatriot Ishant Sharma follows him on the tally with 71 wickets.
Importance: One of the greatest exponents of reverse swing
Shami is one of the greatest exponents of reverse swing in modern-day cricket.
He becomes a rather lethal bowler in the second innings of a Test, especially when the wicket starts deteriorating.
In Team India's previous SENA cycle, he jeopardized the batsmen with this weapon.
Notably, he emerged as the third-highest wicket-taker (16) in Tests on India's 2018/19 tour Down Under.
Series: The four-Test series to commence on February 5
After the Australian tour, India are due to host England for a four-match Test series.
Earlier, the BCCI and ECB had announced the fixtures for the same.
The two teams will play four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs, starting February 5.
Notably, Chennai will also host the first two Test matches.
Meanwhile, the Sardar Patel Motera Stadium (Ahmedabad) will host the remaining two.
Fact: India vs England: A look at the schedule
First Test, February 5-9 (Chennai). Second Test, February 13-17 (Chennai). Third Test (Day/Night), February 24-28 (Ahmedabad). Fourth Test, March 4-8 (Ahmedabad). While Ahmedabad will host all the five T20Is, the three ODIs will be played in Pune.