Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly revealed that Bengal pacer Ashok Dinda will fly to Australia as a backup for Ishant Sharma.
"Ashok Dinda will fly to Australia as a cover to Ishant in next 24 hours. My sources have confirmed this," Ganguly revealed to a news channel.
"Dinda is India's best pace bowler right now and should have been on that plane to Australia in first place with rest of the squad," he said.
Ishant is recovering from injury in his left ankle which forced him to leave the field after bowling only 5.3 overs against Cricket Australia Chairman's XI here on Thursday.
However, the team management sounded optimistic on Ishant's participation in the series opener from December 26.
"The doctor has advised him rest till Monday. So we would have a fresh look at him on Tuesday. But the work on him is going on and he's improving," said media manager GS Walia here this morning.
Ganguly said Ishant should not figure in the team if he is not 100 per cent fit.
"This is a very long tour. If Ishant has pain in his ankle, then he should be rested for the first Test. The final Test of the series will be very crucial. You cannot play a bowler having even 50 per cent of fitness level. It will put immense pressure on the team like we saw in England where Zaheer broke down in the fist Test at Lord's and India never recovered," he said.
"The Indian team management, be it skipper or the selector, if he is touring along, have to take a decision immediately. If Ishant isn't fully fit and has little chance of recovering, then he should be sent back home," he added.