Jasprit Bumrah’s highly anticipated return to competitive cricket is still being closely monitored by the National Cricket Academy (NCA) as they assess his recovery and determine his fitness for the upcoming T20I series against Ireland. The premier Indian fast bowler has been out of action for 10 months due to a back injury, causing him to miss several significant tournaments including the Asia Cup 2022, T20 World Cup 2022, Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and World Test Championship final.
Although Bumrah has resumed bowling in the nets, his full fitness is still uncertain. The Indian team management is eager to have Bumrah back in action before the ODI World Cup 2023, and it is crucial for him to have sufficient game time to regain match readiness ahead of the prestigious tournament.
The sports science and medicine team at the NCA is working diligently with Bumrah to facilitate his return to the field. According to a report by CricketNext, there is a possibility that Bumrah may make his comeback during the T20Is against Ireland next month. While the primary focus is on his return to the ODI format in preparation for the global event, the decision-makers overseeing Bumrah’s rehabilitation process want him to gradually build up his workload, starting with four-over spells.
However, there is still uncertainty regarding Bumrah’s availability for the Ireland tour. A report from PTI suggests that even if he manages to make the squad, it is highly unlikely that he will feature in all three matches. The national selection panel, led by Ajit Agarkar, has not yet received clearance from physiotherapists and doctors regarding Bumrah’s fitness for the series.
“There used to be an unwritten rule that if someone is coming back from a long injury layoff, they need to play domestic cricket to prove their fitness. I guess the NCA and selection committee have made an exemption for him since he is not a part of the West Zone squad for Deodhar Trophy games,” a BCCI source revealed.
— Himanshu Pareek (@Sports_Himanshu) July 18, 2023
The final decision on Bumrah’s inclusion in the Ireland tour will be based on the fitness report provided by the NCA physiotherapist. The selection committee will consider factors such as Bumrah’s ability to field in humid conditions during the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, as well as his bowling fitness. The panel has not yet received the green light for his selection.
While there have been reports of Bumrah bowling around 7 to 8 overs in the nets, he has remained cautious in his approach. Unlike some other injured players who have shared videos of their return to skills training on social media, Bumrah has kept a low profile. He recently posted a video on Instagram featuring still photographs of his bowling session at the NCA, leaving fans impressed with the update.
Bumrah’s last video showcasing him bowling at full throttle was on December 16, 2022, during his previous rehabilitation phase at the NCA after missing the T20 World Cup. Subsequently, he was named in the home series but had to withdraw due to not feeling completely fit and underwent back surgery in New Zealand.
As the Indian team and fans eagerly await Bumrah’s return to the field, the NCA and selection committee will continue to monitor his progress closely to ensure he is fully fit and ready to make a significant impact in international cricket once again.