Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel are set for a return to the Indian team for the T20 World Cup. It might be a no-brainer that the two most key bowlers of the side would be staging a comeback but central to their return is fitness which, it is believed, has been cleared by them.
Both Bumrah and Harshal did not feature in India’s failed campaign in the Asia Cup because of different injuries-Harshal was out with a side strain and Bumrah was out of action since July due to a back injury. Cricbuzz has learnt that the two have regained their full fitness and bowled normally at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru recently.
While announcing the Asia Cup squad, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had said that Bumrah and Harshal were at the NCA. “Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel were not available for selection owing to injuries. They are currently undergoing rehab at the NCA in Bengaluru,” the BCCI had stated. The two are believed to have finished their rehab.
With their return almost certain, vacancies will have to be created in the current squad and the obvious ones to make way will be one pacer and one spinner. The Asia Cup team had four spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi and Axar Patel, who was a late replacement for Ravinjdra Jadeja. One of those to make way could be Bishnoi, although a final decision will be taken by the selection committee after consultation with the team management.
The Asia Cup squad had four pacers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan and all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The most likely casualty among them could be Avesh. There is no immediate information if Mohammed Shami, whose exclusion from the Asia Cup team has been widely criticised by experts and commentators alike, will be considered at all. The selectors, however, will see the progress of Bumrah and Harshal in the upcoming home T20I series against Australia and South Africa. Both will be made to play the matches against the visiting sides.
Having undergone a knee surgery recently, Jadeja is clearly out of reckoning which means Axar Patel could retain his place but there will be discussions on Deepak Hooda and the need for two wicketkeepers – Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik. It may not be a surprise if both are selected once again but, again, it will be a call taken after picking the brains of coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Rohit Sharma.
The selection committee meeting is likely to take place by September 15. The World Cup in Australia starts on October 16 and ends on November 13.