Delay in BCCI announcing India Test squad not because of Virat Kohli but Bumrah | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Delay in BCCI announcing India Test squad not because of Virat Kohli but due to Bumrah, Rahul, Jadeja: Report

Feb 09, 2024 11:00 AM IST

The BCCI selectors are not in the dark about Virat Kohli. The delay in squad announcement if there is one, might be because of Bumrah, Rahul and Jadeja.

The Ajit Agrakar-led BCCI selection committee was supposed to meet virtually on Thursday to finalise India's squad for the remaining three Tests against England. There is no clarity on whether the meeting took place or not but a Cricbuzz report does mention the possibility of the selection meeting drifting to Friday in the absence of certain key personalities. It is believed that captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid will also join the meeting to share their inputs. There is another school of thought that explains the delay in announcing India's squad for the third, fourth and fifth Tests and that has nothing to do with Virat Kohli.

India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with teammate Virat Kohli(PTI)
India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with teammate Virat Kohli(PTI)

A BCCI official was quoted as saying by The Indian Express that Kohli is yet to inform the board about his return date but it is now more or less confirmed that the former captain would not be available for the third and fourth Test in Rajkot and Ranchi respectively. A call on the final Test will be taken. However, it seems unlikely that Kohli will take any part in the series.

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The selectors and the team management are not in the dark about Kohli. The delay if there is one, might be because of Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja. The selectors are in no hurry to announce the squad, especially because the third Test is still close to a week away.

Jasprit Bumrah likely to play 3rd Test, discussion on workload after that

The thought of resting Bumrah for the third Test did cross the team management's mind but after what transpired in the first two Tests, there appears to be a change in that. The selectors now want Bumrah to play in Rajkot, where another placid batting track awaits India and England. Mohammed Siraj is expected to return to the XI after being rested for the second Test but replacing Bumrah's skills on an unresponsive track, especially when the series is evenly poised, might be a bridge too far for even the talented right-arm seamer.

Bumrah has bowled 58 overs in the first two Tests so far, picking up 15 wickets. His presence in the Indian XI makes a massive difference and therefore, the team management wants him to be a part of the third Test. A final call, however, will be taken only after discussing the matter with Bumrah after going through the BCCI medical team's detailed medical report on the fast bowler's workload.

KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja's fitness reports awaited

The fitness reports of Rahul and Jadeja are also awaited. Rahul was out of the second Test with a quadriceps injury while Jadeja was ruled out due to a hamstring injury. Both of them are reportedly close to gaining full fitness after spending time at the NCA in Bengaluru but the final reports are awaited.

Jadeja did take social media on Wednesday night to share a positive update but whether both of them are fit enough to take the field in the third Test, remains to be seen.

In Kohli's absence, both Rahul and Jadeja become ever-so crucial in an inexperienced middle order. India's batting in this series has largely been dependent on individual brilliance. Apart from Yashavi Jaiswal, none of the other batters have been consistent. The century that Shubamn Gill got in the second innings in Visakhapatnam gave India relief but the form of Shreyas Iyer will remain a concern.

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