Vinay replaces injured Aaron for Australia Tests
Vinay Kumar, the Karnataka fast bowler, has been picked as a replacement for the injured Varun Aaron in India's Test squad to Australia. Aaron's injury was detected on Thursday evening, making him India's second first-choice fast bowler to pull out of the squad due to injury. Praveen Kumar had been ruled of the Australia tour late last month after suffering a rib injury.
Reportedly, Aaron is suffering from a stress reaction in his back, which was diagnosed during the Indore ODI. He will be reporting to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore next week, to chalk out a rehabilitation plan. Incidentally, Aaron had to sit out of the Ahmedabad ODI only because the nail on a toe of his left foot had fallen out. Abhimanyu Mithun replaced him for that match.
Vinay, 27, has been on the fringes of the India's limited-overs sides for the past year and a half, but has not had a chance in Tests so far. Though he wasn't a part of the squad for the World Cup, Vinay was the most experienced of the quick bowlers in the side for the current home series against West Indies, until Irfan Pathan was included for the final two one-dayers.
He has been a consistent performer in first-class cricket for several seasons. He was the second highest wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy as far back as 2007-08, a feat he repeated two years later when he spearheaded Karnataka's attack during their run to the finals.
It was only two days ago that Vinay had restated his desire to be a part of the Test set-up, a stage where several younger competitors - Abhimanyu Mithun, Umesh Yadav, Aaron - had already got the chance to show off their talent.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo