Bumrah had passed a competition simulation test at the NCA in Bengaluru but experienced discomfort on the second day of building up to higher workloads in Mumbai. If all goes well in his rehabilitation, Bumrah can compete for the second half of the test series against Australia.
The Indian team management were optimistic about Bumrah playing against Australia after the selectors belatedly added him to the squad for the three ODIs against Sri Lanka, but it emerged on Monday morning that Bumrah had not traveled to Guwahati with the rest of the team for the series . opener. Management is also cautious about Bumrah’s condition due to the ODI World Cup in India in October-November.
“It’s an unfortunate incident with him [Bumrah]’ said Rohit Sharma on the eve of the first ODI. “The poor guy had been working really hard all this time at the NCA. Just when he was fully fit again he started bowling and stuff, in the last two days this incident happened I think where he felt a little stiffness in his back. It’s nothing serious, it’s just stiffness. [But] when Bumrah says something, we have to be very careful about it. I thought it was important for us to make that decision then, to just take him out. When we called him [in the squad], he was busy getting his work done. We have to be very careful with him. He had a serious injury before the [T20] World Cup. So we just have to be careful.”
Under the plan, Bumrah underwent match simulation testing with the NCA before being declared fit for selection. After passing those tests at the NCA last week, Bumrah underwent new bowling tests in Mumbai under the supervision of Nitin Patel, the head of the NCA’s sports science division and ultimate authority on a player’s fitness. It was after those tests, combined with the scan results, that it was determined that Bumrah would need more rehabilitation. Both the BCCI and the newly formed selection panel, led by former Indian seaman Chetan Sharma, were told that Bumrah would not be able to handle the heavy bowling workload based on his current fitness.
The BCCI subsequently announced the delay in his return as a “precautionary measure” and that Bumrah was withdrawn from the ODIs against Sri Lanka as he “needed a little more time to build up bowling defence”.
As several key players including Rohit, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and Bumrah have not played Test cricket since the one-off Test against England in Birmingham last July, the team management has scheduled a pre-camp in Bengaluru from 1 February. is part of that camp, but he will now focus on building up his match fitness and is almost certainly out of the ODI and T20I series against New Zealand which starts on January 18.
India’s squad for ODIs in Sri Lanka: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (vice capt), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel , Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh.
9 January, 2.15pm GMT: The story has been updated to reflect new information about Bumrah’s buttock stiffness