New Delhi: The health of India's fast bowling stocks has taken a turn for the worse with news that Ishant Sharma and Varun Aaron will seek medical advice overseas ahead following prolonged injury concerns. The Indian Express on Friday reported that Ishant will fly to Melbourne to consult with a specialist after his troublesome left ankle started acting up, while Aaron is London-bound with more back concerns.
Ishant had his ankle operated on in March 2012 but did not return to international cricket until December when England toured for four Tests. He clearly struggled for consistency and rhythm in the Tests but found the ODIs against Pakistan (seven wickets at 15.57) more successful. However, following the five ODIs against England Ishant felt discomfort in his left ankle which prompted the BCCI to take the decision for overseas consultation.
Aaron, who has not played for India since December 2011 and any first-class cricket since November 2011 - he last appeared in the IPL on May 25, 2012 - remains on the road to recovery with a stress fracture of the back. The 23-year-old Jharkhand fast bowler will now see a doctor in London.
The news of Ishant traveling to Melbourne after feeling discomfort in his left ankle is a blow for India ahead of the Test series against Australia starting in two weeks.
"I will be going there next week, where I will be meeting a couple of doctors and seek their advice. They will review the state of fitness of my back and based on that I will take a call on when I should begin bowling," he told the Indian Express. "I have been bowling on and off but haven't bowled flat out. After this consultation I will get a clear picture of my body."
The news of Ishant's ankle inflammation is bad news for India ahead of the Test series against Australia starting February 22 in Chennai. Zaheer Khan (calf) and Umesh Yadav (back) are looking highly unlikely for the series which leaves the selectors, due to pick the Test squad on Sunday, with few options in terms of experienced pace bowlers.