Bhuvneshwar Kumar hasn’t played a Test match since January 2018 owing to injury and fitness issues. Now, according to reports, a call on the experienced pacer’s Test future is likely to be taken by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after the conclusion of the forthcoming T20I World Cup.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s exclusion from the Test squad became a talking point after India’s pacers struggled to make an impression in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in Southampton.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar Won’t Be Pushed To Play Tests Before 2021 T20I World Cup
According to a report, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s name was also discussed as a replacement for injured players in England. But the BCCI concluded it was important to test the pacer’s fitness first before bringing him back for the longer format.
A top BCCI official said: “The board had a discussion with Bhuvneshwar. It has been decided that he won’t be pushed to play Test cricket before the T20 World Cup. He has to first play three-four First-Class games. He hasn’t played the longer format for over three years. There’s a chance of him breaking down if he suddenly resumes playing Test cricket.”
The report added that a call on Bhuvneshwar Kumar playing Tests will be taken before the tour of South Africa in December. Having recovered from yet another injury, Bhuvneshwar Kumar made a comeback to the Indian team during the limited-overs leg of the home series against England.
He was impressive on return and was the man of the match in the deciding T20I with figures of 2 for 15. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also claimed 3 for 42 in the final ODI of the series against England. The 31-year-old is currently in Sri Lanka as the vice-captain of a young limited-overs squad.
He had a memorable time in the second ODI of the three-match series, picking up three wickets and then scoring an unbeaten 19 as India clinched the three-match series. He has grappled with recurring injuries in the last three years. He hasn’t played Test cricket since 2018 and was recently overlooked from the 20-men squad for the upcoming Test summer in England.
In his only Test series in England (in 2014) to date, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had shared the Man of the Series award with England’s James Anderson on the back of picking 19 wickets in five Tests at an average and strike rate of 26.63 and 54.5 respectively. The 31-year-old right-arm pacer has not played multi-day format cricket since January 2018 when he appeared in a Test in South Africa.
BCCI To Send Prithvi Shaw And Suryakumar Yadav To England As Cover For Injured Players
Meanwhile, the BCCI has decided to send two players from the Sri Lanka tour, Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav, to England as cover for injured players for the Test series. After Shubman Gill was ruled out of the Test series due to a shin injury, Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan have also suffered finger injuries.
On reaching the UK, both Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav will have to undergo quarantine, which means they won’t be available for the first Test in Nottingham.