India pacer Ishant Sharma is 33 and for a pacer this period is a tricky one. One, he has to ensure his fitness levels are met with international standards and two, he is always in a tussle with the young blood that is coming in.
The Delhi-born pacer has not been in good form in last one year and there have been fitness concerns with him as well.
A top BCCI official told the Indian Express that the South Africa tour could be the last outing for Ishant in India colours.
And not only him, the sword is hanging for Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara as well who are also into their 30s.
“Rahane’s removal as vice-captain is a clear warning signal to him. As a senior member in the side, he needs to contribute more. Same is true for Pujara also. He too has been around for a long time and now the team expects him to play those crucial knocks in big games. In case they score and have a significant impact on the series, they might be able to extend their Test careers. But in the case of Ishant, this could be it,” said the BCCI official.
India’s tour of South Africa begin with three Tests on December 26 followed by three ODIs. Earlier, the tour also comprised of T20s, but due to change in the schedule courtesy Omicron variant threat, the series will now be played next year at a different time.