India pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna are bowling with full intensity in the nets and are set to play practice matches organised by the NCA (National Cricket Academy), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a medical and fitness update on Friday.
“The BCCI medical team is pleased with their progress and will make a final decision after assessing them following the practice games,” the statement added.
Batters KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer have resumed batting in the nets and are undergoing strength and fitness drills, the intensity of which will be increased in the coming days.
Wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, who suffered a horrific car crash in December, is also on the path to recovery and has started batting and keeping in the nets. The 25-year-old is following a fitness programme which includes strength, flexibility and running.
The availability of these five players will be key as India gears up for the ODI World Cup at home, which begins from October 5. Bumrah, who has spearheaded the Indian pace attack, has been sidelined due to a back injury since September 2022, when he returned for the home T20I series against Australia after missing the 20-over Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.
Shreyas, India’s top-scorer across formats in 2022, was injured during the fourth Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against Australia in March, following which he underwent a successful back surgery in April. A vital cog in India’s middle-order and one of the best batters against spin bowling currently, a lot will hinge for India on Shreyas’ availability for the World Cup.
Rahul was injured during the Indian Premier League (IPL) in May while leading Lucknow Super Giants and has been doubling up as batter and wicketkeeper for India in ODIs in the absence of Pant, who has been India’s first-choice gloveman across formats.
While the Men in Blue sweat over the fitness of two of its wicketkeeping options, the 50-over Asia Cup, which begins from August 30 in Pakistan, looms large.
The Rohit Sharma-led side will also hope Prasidh can return to boost India’s pace bowling department. The lanky fast-bowler has picked 25 wickets in just 14 ODI matches but has been out of action since August 2022 because of a stress fracture.
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