Injured paceman Navdeep Saini has failed to take the field on day two of the series-deciding fourth Test, raising further doubt as to whether he will bowl again in the match.
Saini was unable to complete his eighth over on day one at the Gabba, tweaking a groin muscle in his delivery stride then immediately calling for assistance from team medicos.
The 28-year-old was sent for scans on Friday.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to provide an update regarding Saini’s condition.
But his absence was notable in the early stages of the morning session.
India’s hopes of retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy, which they can achieve with a draw or win against Australia in Brisbane, would take a massive hit if Saini is unable to bowl again.
“It’ll make a difference if we bat really big in the first innings and keep the bowlers out there,” Marnus Labuschagne said of Saini’s setback.
“But they went in with the extra bowling option and it probably paid off for them, because they lost Saini early on.”
Fast bowler Shardul Thakur also left the field in obvious discomfort late on day one but he returned on Saturday.
The visitors’ fast-bowling depth has already been tested in remarkable fashion this summer, as reflected by the fact that third-gamer Mohammed Siraj is now leading India’s most inexperienced Test attack since 1946.
Spearhead Jasprit Bumrah was unable to prove his fitness for the final Test in Brisbane, where fellow quicks Mohammed Shami (arm), Umesh Yadav (calf), Ishant Sharma (side) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (thigh) are also unavailable.