Aakash Chopra, former Indian opener-turned-commentator feels it is ‘little surprising’ to not see pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s name in India’s WTC final and England Tests 20 man squad.
On Friday (May 7), the BCCI announced a 20-man squad for the Virat Kohli-led Team India’s forthcoming international assignments starting with the ICC World Test Championship final — against New Zealand in mid-June — followed by a five-match Test series against England, in the United Kingdom.
Aakash Chopra Surprised By Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Omission For WTC Final And 5 Tests Against England As He Is An Asset There
While the regulars like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Rishabh Pant, and Mohammed Shami made the cut, all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari returned after prolonged injuries.
On the other hand, youngsters such as Shubman Gill, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, and Axar Patel also were included after impressive performances in the recent Test series against Australia and England, but the list didn’t feature swing king Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s last Test appearance came in early 2018. Since then, regular injuries have dented his progress but he remains a part of the limited-overs setup. Somehow, he has lost the team management’s faith when it comes to the longest format, mainly due to many other resources being available and also in order to manage his workload.
Nonetheless, the former Indian opener-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra reviewed India’s WTC final and England Tests squad and remained surprised with Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s exclusion in English conditions which favours swing bowling.
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s name not being there is a little surprising from my point of view. It is possible he might not have gotten fit till the WTC final or you may not have wanted to take a chance with him,” said Aakash Chopra on his Youtube channel.
He further opined, “But if there are five Test matches in England and you have a bowler like Bhuvi bowling at his peak, you can surely play him two or three of the five-Test matches. That’s what I would be thinking that if I get a bowler like Bhuvi in those conditions, he is an asset.”
“But his name is not there for a series that starts in August and ends in September, there are five Test matches. When we talk about the huge squads, if he is fit, then why not Bhuvneshwar Kumar. You might also be thinking the same,” concluded Chopra.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has played 21 Tests picking 63 scalps averaging 26.10. He did well in the England tour in 2014 picking 19 scalps and his career-best figures of 6/82 came at Lord’s in that series. He last played a Test in January 2018 against and in South Africa.
Aakash Chopra: Kuldeep Yadav’s Omission Hard While Hardik Pandya Isn’t Ready For Long Spells In Tests
Aakash Chopra had further termed chinaman wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav’s omission as a ‘little hard’ whereas he made a bold claim about all-rounder Hardik Pandya missing out. The 43-year-old believes Hardik Pandya won’t feature in the Test line-up for a long as nowadays he isn’t bowling a lot even in limited-overs and isn’t ready for delivering long spells with the red cherry in Tests.
KL Rahul, who had a recent appendicitis surgery, and Wriddhiman Saha, who tested positive for Covid-19, have both been named in the 20-man squad, both subject to clearing their fitness tests. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Prithvi Shaw are among those who continued to miss out on the Test squad.
Among bowlers, Navdeep Saini and Kuldeep Yadav are two notable absentees from the squad. Among standby players, Arzan Nagwaswalla, a bowler from Gujarat, has been named for the first time.
Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav
KL Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha subject to fitness
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla