'Even if he can play 2-3 Tests, team will benefit': Hussain wants India to call up experienced pacer for England series

  • Nasser Hussain wants the Indian team management to fly Bhuvneshwar Kumar to England for the five-Test series starting August 4.
File image of Nasser Hussain. (Getty Images)
File image of Nasser Hussain. (Getty Images)
Updated on Jun 27, 2021 12:11 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

The Indian cricket team went to England with a decent fast-bowling unit in Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur, while keeping Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Arzan Nagwaswalla as the reserve players. In the build-up to the WTC final, there were discussions on the bowling combination which India may field.

The debate went on before the Playing XI was finally announced and Virat Kohli went ahead with three pacers and two spinners and refused to change it even after Day 1 of the World Test Championship against New Zealand was washed out.

After India's underwhelming show with the ball in the WTC final, in which New Zealand beat India to be crowned winners, former captain Nasser Hussain wants the management to fly the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar to England for the five-Test series starting August 4.

Bhuvneshwar missed the flight to England and was instead picked for the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka. However, given how barring Mohammed Shami, no other bowler was able to generate much swing, Hussain feels Bhuvneshwar could be a valuable addition to the team.

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"Bhuvneshwar should be called up for the England series. Though he has injury concerns, even if he can play two or three Tests for India, the team will greatly benefit. The conditions will suit him and we all saw how the team is missing a genuine swing bowler," Hussain said on air during Day 3 of the WTC final at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl.

Hussain does make a valid point though. Shami picked up a four-wicket-haul in the first innings and even though Ishant accounted for 3/48, there wasn't much for either the veteran of 100 Tests or Bumrah in the surface.

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Bhuvneshwar has a good record in England, having picked up 19 wickets at an average of 26.63 with two five-wicket-hauls in five Tests. During the 2014 tour, Bhuvneshwar picked up 19 wickets from five Tests with a best of 6/82 but did not make the cut for the 2018 tour.

But Bhuvneshwar hasn't played a First-Class match in over three years with his last Test dating back to January of 2018. Besides, whether Bhuvneshwar can have the time to fly to England from Sri Lanka and complete the necessary quarantine is another point that cannot be ignored. If needed, he surely can make the final two or three Tests but it is unlikely that India will consider the 31-year-old quick especially with the Mohammed Siraj already available.

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Monday, December 06, 2021