SELECTION MEET IN A DAY WITH BUMRAH WORKLOAD IN MIND
INDIA TEAM NEWS
Jasprit Bumrah has already bowled 58 overs in the series so far.
The national selection committee is scheduled to convene within the next 24 hours to finalize the squad for the remaining three Tests against England, with the management of Jasprit Bumrah's workload taking precedence. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, barring any unforeseen circumstances that might necessitate a postponement to Friday due to the unavailability of key personnel.
Central to the committee's deliberations is the strategic handling of Bumrah's extensive and excessive bowling workload, having already bowled close to 58 overs (second only to R Ashwin, who has bowled close to 80 overs) across the first two Tests. A prevailing notion suggests employing the 30-year-old pacer judiciously, recognizing his indispensable role within the team. However, the selection committee and team management also acknowledge Bumrah's status as the leading wicket-taker in the series, which was expected to be dominated by spinners.
Bumrah's exceptional performance, with 15 wickets at a remarkable average of just over 10, underscores his vital role in India's bowling lineup. Ashwin, the second most successful bowler from the Indian side, has managed only nine wickets.
In the initial discussions, resting Bumrah for the third Test and slotting in Mohammed Siraj as a replacement seemed plausible, but subsequent deliberations amongst key figures like captain Rohit Sharma, coach Rahul Dravid, and chief selector Ajit Agarkar seem to have led to a re-evaluation of this decision.
The consensus now leans towards retaining Bumrah, recognizing his necessity especially in Rajkot, where the pitch historically favours pace over spin. As the team's vice-captain, Bumrah is cognizant of his responsibilities and the significance of securing victories in the context of World Test Championship (WTC) qualification. The final verdict on Bumrah's participation will be disclosed upon the squad announcement, with the pacer himself being a party to the deliberations and decision.
Meanwhile, promising updates seem to have emerged from the National Cricket Academy regarding the recovery progress of Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul, both of whom missed the second Test in Visakhapatnam due to varying reasons. Rahul's return to the side seems imminent, while Jadeja's potential inclusion hinges on the assessment of his hamstring injury by the team management.