CHRISTCHURCH: Senior Indian pacer Ishant Sharma is likely to miss the second and final Test against New Zealand beginning Saturday at the Hagley Oval as his right ankle injury has resurfaced.
Ishant was present in the nets and did bowl for a while two days out from the match. However, on Friday, he was absent from training after informing the team management of pain in the same ankle. He was subsequently sent for medical tests, the results of which are yet to arrive.
As per an ICC report, if the veteran pacer does miss out on the playing XI, Umesh Yadav will be replacing him ahead of Navdeep Saini, who is yet to make his debut in Test cricket.
The absence of Ishant will serve as a massive blow to India, who are looking to level the series after suffering a crushing 10-wicket defeat at the Basin Reserve.
The right-arm pacer had returned to action in Wellington after a month-long injury lay-off owing to the ankle injury he'd suffered during a Ranji Trophy game in January. He was in fact the pick of the Indian bowlers at the Basin Reserve, finishing with figures of 5 for 68 in New Zealand's first innings.
After the second day's play in Wellington Test, Ishant had revealed that he slept barely for four hours in the past two days and thus struggled hard to deal with a "jet-lag".
"I am not happy because I have not slept for two days and I was struggling a lot today (with my body). The way I would have liked to bowl, it did not happen. They asked me to play and I played. Anything, for the team," he said.
"Not that I wasn't happy with my bowling. I wasn't happy with my body as I could only sleep for 40 minutes last night and day before the Test match, I slept for three hours," said Ishant, narrating his struggles with jet lag.
"The more you can recover (from jet lag), the better effort you can put in on the ground. There's no better recovery than sound sleep. The sounder your sleep is, the better your body will respond on ground," he added.
Meanwhile, India head coach Ravi Shastri has confirmed that opener Prithvi Shaw has recovered from a foot injury and is "ready to go" in the second Test.