In a massive blow to Indian cricket team on their ongoing tour of Australia, their lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the fourth and final Test following an abdominal strain. The Indian team management reportedly isn’t willing to risk the right-arm pacer for the series decider considering the upcoming home series against England starting next month.

According to news agency PTI, Bumrah underwent scans after the third Test in Sydney which ended in a draw on Monday. The reports showed a strain and the Indian team management does not want him to aggravate the injury.

“Jasprit Bumrah suffered an abdominal strain while fielding in Sydney. He is going to sit out of the Brisbane Test but is expected to be available against England,” a BCCI source was quoted as saying by PTI.

India may thus end up fielding a pace attack with a combined experience of four Tests. As of now, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur and T Natrajan are the four fully fit pacers in India squad. Siraj, who made his debut in Melbourne, has played two Tests while Saini and Shardul have one Test each to their names.

Natarajan is yet to make his Test bow.

The news comes hours after allrounder Ravindra Jadeja was diagnosed with a dislocated thumb. He too has been ruled out of the Brisbane Test which starts from January 15.

Also in doubt is the fitness of Hanuma Vihari who reportedly batted with a grade 2 hamstring tear while staving off Australian bowlers, forcing a draw to keep the series one-all. As per reports, he too is an unlikely starter and may even sit out of the England Test series as well.

India’s injury travails began long before the Australia tour got underway. During IPL, two of their leading Test stars – Ishant Sharma and Rohit Sharma – picked injuries requiring rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy.

Rohit recovered in time but Ishant didn’t and thus the vastly experienced pacer missed the entire Australia tour.

Then in the first Test, Mohammed Shami was hit on his elbow and was subsequently ruled out due to a fracture.

Umesh Yadav picked up a calf injury during the second Test that ended his Australia tour as well.

Effectively, India are now without their first-choice pace attack for the fourth Test.