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Rohit rules out ‘risks’ with Bumrah

Jasprit has been sidelined since last September due to a stress fracture in his back
India captain Rohit Sharma during the third ODI against New Zealand in Indore on Tuesday
India captain Rohit Sharma during the third ODI against New Zealand in Indore on Tuesday

Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 26.01.23, 03:03 AM

Captain Rohit Sharma is hopeful of Jasprit Bumrah’s return to the India squad for the third and fourth Tests against Australia. At the same time, he doesn’t want the India pace spearhead’s return to be rushed.

“About Bumrah, I’m not too sure at the moment. Of course, for the first two Tests, he’s not going to be available.


“I’m hoping he plays the next two Test matches, but again we don’t want to take any risk with him,” the India skipper said at the news conference after his team’s 90-run win over New Zealand in the third and final ODI in Indore on Tuesday.

Bumrah has been sidelined since last September due to a stress fracture in his back and was rehabilitating at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. He was making gradual progress as he resumed training and bowling towards the end of 2022.

The pacer was then named in the squad for the home ODIs against Sri Lanka earlier this month as the BCCI said in a statement that he was “declared fit by the NCA”. But within a week, stiffness in the back again ruled Bumrah out, not just of the ODIs against Sri Lanka but also the one-dayers and T20Is against New Zealand as well as the first two Tests against Australia in Nagpur and New Delhi.

“Back injuries are always critical. We have got a lot of cricket coming up after that (Australia Tests) as well. We will see and we will monitor.

“We are in constant touch with doctors and physios at the NCA and we are constantly hearing from them,” Rohit stated.

Rohit’s own form in limited-overs cricket since last year’s T20 World Cup wasn’t really too inspiring, till he looked in better shape in the ODIs against Sri Lanka and appeared much more fluent against the Black Caps in the three one-dayers, breaking his century drought with a 101 in the final game on Tuesday. Taking a dig at broadcasters, Rohit shrugged off the clamour over not being in great form recently in white-ball cricket.

“I have played very few ODIs in the last three years. Three years sound a lot, but in those three years, I have played only 12 or 13 (17 to be precise) ODIs, if am not wrong. I know it was shown during the broadcast, but sometimes we need to show the right things also,” Rohit retorted when asked if the century in Indore marked his comeback.

“We were focusing on T20 a lot for most of last year. Kabhi kabhi thoda woh hum ko dhyan rakhna chhahiye, broadcaster ko bhi sahi cheez dikhana chhahiye (Sometimes we should pay attention to such things while the broadcaster, too, needs to show the right things). “Waapsi matlab kya main samjha nahi (I don’t understand what’s meant by my comeback)! You’re saying three years, out of which for eight months we were completely at home due to Covid-19. Where were the matches happening? And last year we have mostly played T20 cricket. 

“In T20 cricket at the moment, other than Suryakumar Yadav, is anyone else batting better? He has hit two centuries. I don’t think anyone else has scored a century.

“In Test cricket, I have played just two matches against Sri Lanka. Otherwise, I was injured in between. Please check all that and after that, you can ask me about my form,” Rohit added. 

Rohit was effusive in his praise for Shubman Gill, who was the leading run-getter in the New Zealand ODIs. “The way he was batting, I don’t think much needs to be told to him. He understands his game and has got great maturity.”

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