India fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar is bound to return to India from the United Kingdom (UK), in order to recuperate from a lower back problem that has troubled him in recent times.
Bhuvneshwar had missed the third Twenty20 International against England as well as the first two One-day Internationals. He managed to play the third game at Headingley but ended up aggravating the back injury.
As a result, the selectors of Team India did not name him in the 18-man squad for the first three Tests announced against England.
According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, Bhuvneshwar will undergo intense fitness rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
After that, the selectors will make an assessment on his fitness for the final two Tests.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had updated about Bhuvneshwar’s injury through a release.
“His [Bhuvneshwar’s] condition is being assessed by the BCCI medical team and a call on his inclusion in the test squad will be made soon,” BCCI said in a statement.
Apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India will also miss the services of Jasprit Bumrah for the first Test at least.
The right-arm pacer Bumrah has not played since suffering a thumb injury during the first T20I against Ireland. He is part of the 18-member Test squad, but the BCCI has confirmed he will miss the first Test scheduled in Birmingham.
“Jasprit Bumrah, who has been included in the squad, will be available for selection from the second Test onwards based on his fitness,” the statement said.
India had thoroughly missed Bumrah’s services in the ODIs. Apart from wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, the Indian bowlers could not quite manage to make an impact. As a result, the hosts ended up winning the series 2-1.
The Virat Kohli-led side would be keen to bounce back in the Test series as India will be aiming for their first Test series victory in England since 2007.
Also, in Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah’s absence, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav will shoulder the responsibility of the pace-bowling department.
The five-Test series will get underway at Edgbaston from August 1. It will be followed by Test matches at Lord’s (August 9 to August 13), Trent Bridge (August 18 to August 22), The Rose Bowl (August 30 to September 3) and Kennington Oval (September 7 to September 11).
India squad for first three Tests vs England:
Virat Kohli (Captain); Shikhar Dhawan; KL Rahul; Murali Vijay; Cheteshwar Pujara; Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain); Karun Nair; Dinesh Karthik; Rishabh Pant; R Ashwin; Ravindra Jadeja; Kuldeep Yadav; Hardik Pandya; Ishant Sharma; Mohammed Shami; Umesh Yadav; Jasprit Bumrah; Shardul Thakur;