Chairman of selectors, Chetan Sharma, has admitted that they goofed up India’s injured fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah’s recovery by rushing his comeback in a desperate bid to get him match-ready for the T20 World Cup and have learned a lesson on the importance of players’ workload management.
Sharma made the statement during a press conference to announce the squads for the New Zealand limited overs series and Bangladesh Test and one-day series which controversially didn’t have a place for Prithvi Shaw (limited overs side) and Sarfaraz Khan (Test side) while Hanuman Vihari found himself dropped (Test side).
Bumrah failed to make the World Cup squad due to a flare-up of a back injury and Sharma said the pace ace will not be risked in the Test series in Bangladesh as they look to have him fully fit before Australia tour India early next year.
Answering a question on the timeline for Bumrah’s return to action, the chief selector said: “We hurried up Bumrah (because the) World Cup was coming up and look at the consequence: we are without Bumrah at the World Cup. The NCA team and the medical team is looking after him very well and he will definitely be part of the team very soon, definitely against Australia (Test matches) but against Bangladesh, we are a little cautious. We don’t (want to) do something like that again (play him early). There is a reason behind giving rest to a player, we don’t want to chop and change all the time, but there is so much cricket that we have to keep looking after their body. He will be back soon,” said Sharma.
Among the selection decisions taken by the committee during their Monday’s meeting, the talking point was prolific run-getter Sarfaraz Khan not finding a place in the Test team. For two successive seasons, the Mumbai batter has scored heavily in the Ranji Trophy. In the 2021-22 season, he topped the run charts with 982 runs in six matches at an average of 122.75. In the 2019-20 season, he amassed 928 runs in six matches at an average of 154.66. He has started the new season with a bang by getting hundreds in the Irani Cup versus Saurashtra and the Duleep Trophy final against South Zone.
Defending his decision, Sharma said the selection committee didn’t know whose place Sarfaraz could take. “The selectors are giving him chances wherever there is an opportunity, we played him in the India A team. The thing is there has to be a place in the team. He is a brilliant player; he is not that far away (from selection). There is regular communication with him.
“Sometimes you need to work extra hard to get into the team, players are already there. He is a serious contender, there was a lot of discussion about him in today’s meeting. He has done his job and has been regularly doing it. He will definitely get a chance very soon,” said Sharma.
TEAM FOR NEW ZEALAND
For India’s tour of New Zealand in November for the T20 series and one-day series, which begins five days after the T20 World Cup final in Australia, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have been rested. Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan were named captains of the T20I and ODI squads respectively. Rishabh Pant has been named vice-captain for the entire tour.
Opener Prithvi Shaw can consider himself unlucky to miss out. The Mumbai batter has been in good form for Mumbai in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s being their top scorer in the league stage with a tally of 285 in seven innings at a strike rate of 191.27.
“We basically are looking at Prithvi, we’re constantly in touch with Prithvi, he has been doing well. There’s nothing wrong with him at all,” Sharma said. “The thing is – the players who are already playing and those who are performing, they have got their chances. He (Shaw) will definitely get his chance. The selectors are in constant touch with him, talking to him, he is doing well and he will get his chances very soon,” said Sharma.