New Delhi: Team India suffered a bigger blow on Wednesday when the selectors held back pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s name in the squad announced for the first three Test matches starting 1 August.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s back injury during the third ODI against England has raised questions on the role of Indian team physio Patrick Farhart and trainer Shankar Basu in handling of the situation.
Bhuvi has currently not been named in the 18 member squad for the first three Tests “as his condition is being assessed by the BCCI medical team”. However, a senior BCCI official privy to team selection was “surprised” as to why he was played in the third ODI if he wasn’t fully fit.
From the start, it was clear that Kumar was uncomfortable in his delivery stride and as India lost the game by eight wickets, Kumar ended with figures of 7-0-49-0. Now it has been one of the longstanding policies of the Shastri-Kohli era that no half-fit player is kept in a playing XI.
But this policy was certainly tampered on Tuesday and the result, as things stand now, has been nothing less than disastrous.
Bhuvi missed five out of 17 games for Sunrisers. The BCCI had asked the franchise to look after his workload management. Then he was rested for Afghanistan Test so that he gets time to recover for UK tour. But it seems something is amiss and that’s quite baffling” the official said. Bhuvneshwar had passed the YoYo test which is now a primary fitness criteria to get into the team.
What makes the team management’s decision to risk Kumar even more culpable is the fact that they knew that another key fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah will be available for selection only from the second Test onwards, and that too based on his fitness assessment.
Furthermore, Mohammed Shami too is coming back from an injury and mental scars from an ongoing marital disturbance.
Only time will tell if Kumar and Bumrah get fit and form a combination from the second Test onwards, but a scenario in which both are not available looks extremely scary.