In a much-needed boost to India’s fast bowling department ahead of the ODI World Cup, Jasprit Bumrah is set for a long-awaited comeback to international cricket.
The pace ace is in the final stages of rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru over the last few weeks and if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah is to be believed, Bumrah is ‘fit and may go to Ireland’ for the T20I series in August.
Bumrah has been out of action since September last year and underwent a back surgery in March. Since April, he started rehabilitation and a few weeks ago, he checked in at the NCA for his final rehabilitation and in a statement recently, the BCCI indicated that his recovery was progressing faster than expected, and also stated that he was bowling at ‘full intensity’ in the nets.
As per the initial timeline set by the NCA medical team, Bumrah was expected to be ready by Asia Cup, beginning on August 30.
But with the pacer bowling full throttle in the nets, his return to the team for the Ireland tour will allow the team management to have a clear assessment of his match-fitness, leading up to the ODI World Cup, which will be held in October-November.
Following the Ireland T20Is and the Asia Cup, India will play a three-match ODI series against Australia at home in September.
Mohammed Shami, who last played in the World Test Championship final, is also expected to make the cut for the Asia Cup and with Bumrah looking fit, it will help India fine-tune its preparations for the World Cup.
“The amount of experience he (Bumrah) brings is very important... If he gets to play then it’s good and we hope he plays before the World Cup. When a player returns from a serious injury, match-fitness, match-feel are some key components, which are missing,” India captain Rohit Sharma told the media in Bridgetown.
While he is accepted that the return of Bumrah will be a huge boost leading up to the ICC event, the Indian captain also made it clear that playing more matches will help Bumrah.
“According to me, if he plays more and more matches, it will be good for him and the team also. So we will see how many matches he plays in one month, what all we have planned for him... we are in constant touch with the NCA and it looks quite positive at the moment,” said Rohit.
India is scheduled to begin its World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8.
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