Fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a major doubt for the forthcoming ODI series against the West Indies after he picked up an unidentified injury in the most recent match, the T20I decider against the tourists in Mumbai on Wednesday, which India won by 67 runs. More clarification as to the extent of the injury will be provided once medical specialists from the BCCI (Board of Control of Cricket in India) have had a chance to assess it.
This is the latest setback this year for the 29 year old from Uttar Pradesh who was forced to sit out the two preceding home series with South Africa and Bangladesh with a side strain. He also missed three matches of India’s World Cup campaign in England in June with a hamstring injury.
Kumar’s return for the T20i series could have gone better – he picked up only two wickets across the three matches, conceding 113 runs in the process.
If Kumar is due to miss out again, then the man likely to replace him is Shardul Thakar, who has played five previous ODIs for India, most recently last year in the Asia Cup in Dubai. He has also appeared in seven T20I, and made his test debut last October against the West Indies, although that proved to be a less than happy occasion for him. He bowled only ten deliveries before he was forced to leave the field due to a groin strain, and was subsequently forced to miss seven weeks whilst he recovered from the injury.
Meanwhile there is better news on another Indian fast bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, who, as part of his rehabilitation programme, is due to bowl at the Indian team in the nets before the second ODI in Visakhapatnam. Bumrah has been missing since before the start of the South Africa series with a back injury, and is recovering well, having flown to the UK to consult medical specialists.
However, he is unlikely to be rushed back, and may only play one Ranji Trophy game to prove his fitness before he joins India’s tour of New Zealand in the New Year, although there is a possibility he may also join the India A team first down under to get some match practice.
The first ODI against the West Indies will take place in Chennai on Sunday.