New Delhi: The All-India Senior Selection Committee have named medium pacer Shardul Thakur as the replacement for injured pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the third and final Test between India and New Zealand.
Kumar was ruled out after sustaining a back strain in the second Test at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Bhuvneshwar sustained the injury during the second Test in Kolkata, in which he took six wickets including a five-wicket haul in the first innings.
Bhuvneshwar drew a lot of praise for his performance in Kolkata after he picked up his fourth five-wicket haul in his 15th Test and also his first on home soil.
Having already lost Ishant Sharma earlier in the Test series (diagnosed with chikungunya), this comes as a bigger shock for the Indian team considering the form Bhuvneshwar was in.
Mumbai seamer Shardul Thakur earned his first call-up to the squad during India's tour of the West Indies in July-August but couldn't get his first cap.
A lot of replacements have been made in the on-going India-New Zealand series – most recently Karun Nair replaced injured opener Shikhar Dhawan (left thumb fracture) and Gautam Gambhir has made his comeback into the Indian team replacing an injured KL Rahul (hamstring).
Having already clinched the three-match series by comprehensively winning the first two Tests, Indian management won't be too bothered with the replacements and would like to observe how the new boys perform.
While the hosts defeated the Kiwis by 197 runs in Kanpur in the series opener, they trounced the visitors by 178 runs in the second Test at Kolkata.
The combined result got India 1st spot in the ICC Test rankings.