Did India try to rush Jasprit Bumrah back from injury during their build-up to the T20 World Cup?
Chief selector Chetan Sharma seemed to suggest so at a virtual press conference on Monday to announce four squads across two tours – New Zealand and Bangladesh – in November-December 2022.
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Not surprisingly, Bumrah missed the cut for those matches as he continues to recover from the back injury that forced his absence from the ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia.
“I always say that we have to manage players,” Sharma said. “And when we do that, the media sometimes writes about why some players are not playing, different players are playing, different captains are coming.
“The selection committee has to deal with workload management which we follow very closely. Now, we tried to hurry up Jasprit Bumrah, we tried to get him with the World Cup coming. And see what has happened? We are without Jasprit Bumrah in the World Cup.”
Bumrah was first diagnosed with a stress reaction in his back in August and was ruled out of India’s Asia Cup campaign later that month. However, in September, Bumrah was declared fit and was picked in India’s T20 World Cup squad. The same squad also featured in India’s build-up to the tournament with home games against Australia and South Africa. Bumrah featured in two of the three T20s against Australia, but was pulled out on the eve of the South Africa series, India’s last before the World Cup, after he complained of back pain.
Since then, Bumrah has been undergoing a rigorous rehab programme at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. Even as he exuded hope of Bumrah being available soon, Sharma was non-committal about timelines.
India play six white-ball games in New Zealand before flying to Bangladesh in early December for three ODIs and two Tests. They then host New Zealand and Sri Lanka for a white-ball tour to kick off the 50-over World Cup year, before finishing their World Test Championship assignment with the Border-Gavaskar series at home against Australia (four Tests).
“The NCA team and the medical team are looking after him very well. And he will definitely be part and parcel of the team very soon, in the sense definitely against Australia (series in 2023). But for Bangladesh we are a little cautious with Jasprit Bumrah as opposed to like we tried to bring him back early (post the Asia Cup). So we don’t want to do that this time.
“That is why I always request the media that when we rest a player there is a reason behind that. No selector fancies that we keep changing the team or the captains – it is only that there is so much cricket, and there is so much workload management to look after that we have to keep looking after the player’s body. End of the day they are humans. He will be back soon. The NCA team is working on him properly and I hope he will return soon to play for India.”