With Jasprit Bumrah being ruled out of the ODI series against England after picking up a thumb injury, speedster Bhuvneshwar Kumar was supposed to carry the additional responsibility. Unfortunately for India, however, Bhuvneshwar seems a doubtful starter in the opening ODI at Trent Bridge on Thursday (July 12).
Bhuvneshwar, who missed the third T20I against England due to stiff back, didn’t bowl in the net session on the eve of the first ODI while Siddarth Kaul honed his skills under the supervision of bowling coach Bharat Arun
"Bhuvi has come here to train. He's going to see how the net session goes for him. He's going to try and bowl and see how he feels. Obviously the physio and the captain will take the call later once we finish his training session, but he looks fine to me as of now. Hopefully he'll be ready to take the field tomorrow," Rohit Sharma quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
Even though Bhuvneshwar hasn’t had the best of time with the ball on the UK tour thus far, his experience matters a lot for the visitors to combat the mighty English batting line-up. Moreover, Bhuvi’s absence at a venue like Trent Bridge can prove to be disastrous for India since England have amassed two consecutive 400+ scores at this very venue against Pakistan and Australia.
Bhuvneshwar’s unavailability also means India's fifth bowling option Hardik Pandya has to step up. Pandya played an instrumental role as India clinched the T20I series against England by registering a thumping seven-wicket victory in the series decider tie at Bristol. Pandya claimed 4 for 38 in his 4 overs and scored a handy 33* off 14 balls at the crucial juncture of the match.
Wrist Spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who dented the England batting line-up with a five-wicket haul in the first T20I at Old Trafford, is expected to make a comeback in the playing XI after being dropped in the third T20I at Bristol.
"Kuldeep is an attacking option, wherever he plays. It depends entirely on the coach and captain what combination we play. Unfortunately, he missed out on playing at Bristol. He gives us the attacking option in this format and it is a little longer format compared to T20. He will be bowling 10 overs, hopefully he can extract turn and bounce which he did in South Africa," Rohit remarked.
India’s ODI squad against England:
Virat Kohli(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Suresh Raina, Umesh Yadav, Axar Patel