Bumrah passes test

The controversy over Jasprit Bumrah's fitness test has been resolved and the pace spearhead will be donning the India jersey again in the Twenty20 International cricket series against Sri Lanka starting on Jan 5.

The 26-year-old, ranked the No. 1 bowler in one-day internationals, has been included in both the T20I and ODI squads for the Sri Lanka and Australia series respectively.

While speculation was rife that he might have to wait till the Australia series, which starts on Jan 14, for a comeback, the national selectors have decided to bring him in for the Lanka series.

"Jasprit Bumrah is back in both the teams for Sri Lanka and Australia and we have rested Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami for the Sri Lanka T20s. Shikhar Dhawan also comes back and Sanju Samson will be the back-up opener in T20s," chairman of selectors M.S.K. Prasad said.

Bumrah has been out of action post India's tour of the West Indies in July-August due to a stress fracture on his back.

However, he trained with the Indian team ahead of the second ODI against the West Indies in Visakhapatnam last week.

The trainer and physio declared him fit and the selectors decided he could rejoin the national team.

The Indian team management called Bumrah to Visakhapatnam to assess the pacer's recovery after undergoing rehabilitation for the stress fracture.

While his body was on auto-heal mode, he still went to the United Kingdom for consultation as the Indian board didn't want to take any chances.

However, the Rahul Dravid-led National Cricket Academy (NCA) reportedly refused to conduct the mandatory fitness test on Bumrah.

NCA sources claimed that the bowler had used his own set of specialists for the treatment of his injury and they couldn't conduct the test as they did not monitor his recovery.

Dravid reportedly was miffed with Bumrah's decision to undergo rehabilitation under private trainers instead of the ones from NCA.

Bumrah has been training with Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Capitals' trainer Rajnikanth Sivagnanam in Mumbai after recovering from the injury.

Indian board president Sourav Ganguly, however, was adamant that Bumrah's fitness evaluation would be done at the NCA.

"NCA has to be the first and final point for International cricketers. It's a place for Indian cricketers. Everyone has to go through NCA," asserted Ganguly.

Bumrah's return will be a huge boost for India after a poor show with the ball in the recently-concluded series against the West Indies where the premier pace bowler's absence was largely felt.

India will be playing three T20Is against Sri Lanka on Jan 5, 7 and 10, while the ODI series against Australia will be played from Jan 14 to 19.

Indo-Asian News Service


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