Bumrah's return a major boost for Kohli & Co but pace battery injury concerns remain worrisome
Although India have a large pool of pace bowlers at the moment, it is not infinite and the team can ill afford their pace bowlers to get injured so frequently.
The team is set to play a 3-match T20I series from Jan 5 to Jan 10 against Sri Lanka, followed by a 3-match ODI series against Australia from Jan 14 to Jan 19.
Bumrah, Dhawan return
Jasprit Bumrah was out of the Indian team after the Test series against West Indies where he picked up an injury. Following the recovery of a stress fracture in the back - which he achieved without a surgery - Bumrah is now fit and has been included in the Indian squad for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka and Australia.
Shikhar Dhawan was initially part of the Indian squad for the T20I and ODI series against West Indies but was ruled out after he picked up a knee injury in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. His replacement, Lokesh Rahul grabbed this opportunity with both hands and was one of the leading run-scorers for India both in the T20Is and the ODIs. Dhawan will now have to show some serious consistency in order to to get back in the thick of things.
Rohit, Shami rested
With Dhawan having recovered from injury and KL Rahul batting as well as he ever has in his career, the Indian team management was faced with a dilemma. They had to honour their protocol of slotting back the injured players in the XI after they're fit. At the same time, it was hard for them to overlook Rahul's form.
Rohit Sharma is now part of the Indian Test squad. It means that he has been on the road for several months and needed some respite. It came at an ideal time as it presented an opportunity to the Indian management to rest him and hence free up an opening spot for Shikhar Dhawan.
Still no Dhoni
What has been the communication between Dhoni and the Indian team management, and there has been one, is still a matter of suspense as Dhoni remains Aabsent from the Indian limited over squads. There was a semblance of expectation that he might be back for ODIs against Australia but it has not been the case.
However, with Rishabh Pant struggling with his keeping, one cannot totally rule out this scenario in the near future. Hence, the Dhoni-India saga remains a topic of interest for the fans.
Kedar Jadhav picked for ODIs
At 34, it is hard for many people to see Kedar Jadhav making the Indian squad for the next World Cup. Hence, there are constant demands to give younger players a go in his place. However, the management has shown its loyalty to Jadhav at the moment.
In the limited opportunities that he got in the ODIs against West Indies, he delivered on a couple of occasions. But, he did not do enough to inspire a lot of confidence. Given that he plays only one format adds further pressure on him to be at his absolute best every time he steps on the field. Jadhav has retained his ODI spot for now but that might change in the near future.
Pace battery injury concerns
Jasprit Bumrah may be back after his back stress fracture but India's concerns with their pace battery don't seem to be ending anytime soon. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, after being cleared by the National Cricket Academy, suffered a sports hernia recently and remains unavailable.
Deepak Chahar has also suffered back stress fracture recently. This has brought the issue of India's mismanagement of their pace bowlers in limelight. These two cases come after injuries to Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya. Although India has a large pool of pace bowlers at the moment, it is not infinite and the team can ill afford their pace bowlers to get injured so frequently.
Squad for Sri Lanka T20Is - Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer,Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav,Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Washington Sundar
Squad for Australia ODIs - Virat Kohli (Capt),Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul,Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal,Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini,Jasprit Bumrah,Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami
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