Rajkot, India: Jasprit Bumrah, the hero of India‘s emphatic victory in the second Test against England, might be rested for the crucial third match in Rajkot starting February 15th. With workload management becoming a top priority for the Indian team, the selectors are considering giving Bumrah a well-deserved break to ensure his peak fitness for the remaining Tests.
Bumrah’s Stellar Performance, But Fatigue a Concern:
Bumrah was the undisputed star of the Visakhapatnam Test, bagging a match-winning haul of nine wickets for just 91 runs. However, his relentless spells across four intense days, coupled with his previous outing in Hyderabad where he bowled 25 overs, have raised concerns about potential fatigue. Recognizing the need to keep their pace spearhead fresh, the selectors are leaning towards granting him a breather.
Siraj to Lead the Attack, Shami’s Return Uncertain:
With Bumrah potentially out, Mohammed Siraj, who was rested in the second Test, is expected to be recalled and spearhead the Indian attack in Rajkot. The selectors envision Siraj taking the lead before Bumrah rejoins him for the final two Tests, forming a potent pace duo.
Workload Management Takes Center Stage:
The decision to potentially rest Bumrah highlights the Indian team’s growing focus on workload management, especially with Mohammed Shami still recovering from an ankle injury. Shami’s return remains uncertain, making Bumrah’s fitness even more crucial for the series win.
Jadeja’s Home Test Appearance in Doubt, Kohli’s Return Uncertain:
Adding to the team selection complexities, Ravindra Jadeja’s participation in the Rajkot Test, his home game, is also doubtful due to a hamstring injury. While sources suggest a faint possibility of his return later in the series, his absence is a significant blow to the Indian bowling unit.
Furthermore, Virat Kohli’s availability remains shrouded in uncertainty due to a personal commitment. Coach Rahul Dravid indicated that the team management will soon connect with Kohli to determine his participation in the remaining Tests. Recent reports suggest Kohli is expecting his second child, potentially explaining his absence.
KL Rahul Set to Return:
KL Rahul, who missed the second Test due to personal reasons, is expected to be back for the remainder of the series, providing a boost to the Indian batting lineup.
Eyes on Rajkot:
With key players potentially missing and workload management taking center stage, the team selection for the Rajkot Test has become a subject of immense interest. The decisions made by the selectors will significantly impact India’s chances of clinching the series against England.