Huge World Cup boost for India as Bumrah back from injury to lead team against Ireland

The 29-year-old right-arm seamer has not played international cricket since last September

By PTI

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India's Jasprit Bumrah prepares to bowl in nets . — AFP file
India's Jasprit Bumrah prepares to bowl in nets . — AFP file

Published: Mon 31 Jul 2023, 8:45 PM

Giving a fillip to India's pace bowling unit ahead of the ICC World Cup 2023, Jasprit Bumrah on Monday marked his return to the team as the captain for the T20I series against Ireland.

India will play three T20Is against Ireland on August 18, 20 and 23 at Malahide, Dublin.


Bumrah, who had undergone surgery for a lower back stress fracture earlier this year, was going through a rehabilitation process at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

The pace spearhead's last appearance for India was last September during a home T20I series against Australia.


There were deliberations about Bumrah's readiness to handle the twin responsibility of leader of pace attack and the team.

But PTI has learned that the 29-year-old was eager to don the dual role during the Ireland trip. Bumrah has the experience of leading the side as he had led India against England in the Birmingham Test last year.

In a further boost to India's pace inventory, Karnataka right-arm quick Prasidh Krishna too was included in the squad to tour Ireland.

Prasidh, who had undergone surgery for lumbar stress fracture earlier this year, last played for India in an ODI against Zimbabwe in Harare in August last year.

The Ireland series is viewed as an opportunity for both Bumrah and Prasidh to tune their body to the rigours of international cricket after a lengthy gap.

Hence, the duo could be expected to be part of India's squad for the upcoming Asia Cup to be played in Colombo across August and September.

Ruturaj Gaikwad will be the vice-captain of the squad from which many regular members like Hardik Pandya and Shubman Gill are absent.

However, after the short time away from the game both Pandya and Gill are expected to return to action through the Asia Cup. Currently, both of them are playing in the ODI series against the West Indies.

This tour to Ireland will also be a good chance for several players in this squad as they are also a part of the Indian team for the Asian Games.

It will also open up another opportunity for Sanju Samson to underline his claim for a more frequent India berth in the white ball formats.

Since many of these cricketers, except Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal, are now being viewed as T20I specialists, the tour to Ireland holds significance for them in their future plans.

The only jarring point in the squad to Ireland is the continued absence of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer.

They are still under rehabilitation after their respective surgeries, and a time-frame has not been set for their return to top-flight cricket.

The BCCI had recently said that both Rahul and Shreyas have started batting at nets at the NCA and they were undergoing strength and fitness drills.

Meanwhile, the World Cup hopefuls will have a week-long training camp at the NCA ahead of their departure to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup.

Their fitness levels too will be assessed during this camp.

Squad

Jasprit Bumrah (C), Ruturaj Gaikwad (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson (wk), Jitesh Sharma (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Prasidh Krishna, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan.

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