Jasprit Bumrah back, to captain India in Ireland T20Is, Hardik and Gill rested | Crickit

Jasprit Bumrah returns to captain India in Ireland T20Is; Hardik and Gill rested, Prasidh back

By, New Delhi
Aug 01, 2023 09:00 AM IST

India pacer is all set to make a comeback from a long injury-induced layoff

Rohit Sharma's Team India has received a massive boost to their ICC World Cup 2023 preparations as speedster Jasprit Bumrah is all set to make a comeback in the Ireland series. The Indian pacer will make his grand return in international cricket by donning the role of captain in the series starting August as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced a 15-member squad for their tour to the United Kingdom (UK). This will be Bumrah's second shot at India captaincy after he led the team against England in the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston last year.

(FILES) India's Jasprit Bumrah prepares to bowl in nets(AFP)
(FILES) India's Jasprit Bumrah prepares to bowl in nets(AFP)

Bumrah, who missed the entire editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, Asia Cup 2022 and T20 World Cup, was believed to be in the final stages of his recovery as videos of him bowling full throttle in the nets started flooding social media and the internet. Having undergone a surgery for a lower back stress fracture in New Zealand earlier this year, Bumrah was rehabilitating at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). BCCI's mega announcement about Bumrah's return has come after board secretary Jay Shah had hinted that the star pacer will be a part of the Indian side for the three T20Is.

Teasing his much-awaited comeback in the World Cup year, Bumrah shared a video of him bowling full tilt at the NCA. The star pacer last played an ODI in July 2022 and a T20I in September last year, where he endured a forgetful outing, recording his worst T20I figures (0/50) against Australia. After being forced to sit out the T20 World Cup in Australia, a glimmer of hope emerged when Bumrah was named in India's squad for the T20Is against Sri Lanka. Yet, the BCCI made a last-minute decision to pull him out, signaling that he was still in the process of regaining peak fitness.

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Bumrah isn't the only India pacer to return in a squad featuring a couple of surprise omissions and some pleasant picks. Prasidh Krishna, who like Bumrah, has been on the shelf for almost a year due to a lumbar stress fracture of his own - he last played a T20I against Zimbabwe in August 2022 - makes his much-awaited comeback. But while it was no surprise that marquee batters Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are still missing from India's T20I plans, the team exhibits an slightly revamped look in the absence of Hardik Pandya and Shubman Gill. Notably, Hardik, who has been unofficially leading India in T20Is, has been granted a well-earned rest. Gill, on the other hand, has been relentlessly playing cricket since the past year, warranting some time off to recharge.

Assisting Bumrah in his captaincy duties will be Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been named the deputy. With batting stalwarts Rohit and Kohli absent from the squad, India has turned to the young brigade, including the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, and Jitesh Sharma, to step up to the challenge. The series will kick off on August 18th, followed by matches on August 20th and 23rd.

Bumrah missed India's entire home season

Bumrah missed India's entire home season this year as the star pacer was sidelined for 10 months. India operated without the 29-year-old fast bowler in the high-profile Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. Though Bumrah was named in India's squad for the Sri Lanka series, the pacer failed to make a comeback as he complained of back pain. The pacer was unavailable for the World Test Championship final and he also missed India's entire Caribbean tour.

India's squad for Ireland series:

Jasprit Bumrah (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad (Vice-captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson (Wicketkeeper), Jitesh Sharma (Wicketkeeper), Shivam Dube, W Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Prasidh Krishna, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan

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