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India v England 2024

Stuart Broad: Can’t understand India resting Bumrah, it handed the initiative back to England

Broad wonders why India rested in-form Jasprit Bumrah from the fourth Test vs ENG
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Stuart Broad has questioned India’s move to rest Jasprit Bumrah from the fourth Test against England after the hosts put on an uninspired bowling performance in the first innings, saying it handed the visitors the advantage.

In Ranchi, India missed their spearhead as they let England recover from 112-5 to post 353 and Broad feels India felt Bumrah’s absence. He wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “Haven’t seen much of this Test match as of yet, just clicked on now. England massively on top. Spinners bowling accurately, uneven bounce. Cracks. Bowlers dream. 350 looks 100 above par. Toss in this series seems crucial. Bat first, dominate the game. Bumrah ‘rested’- can’t understand it. 8 overs in his last innings. Handed initiative back to England.”

Bumrah returned from an injury last August after a year-long back injury layoff. The quick made a short comeback to international cricket in September 2022 after two months of rehab but complained of back pain two games after a comeback and was eventually sidelined for nearly a year.

Managing the workload of the all-format bowler has become a priority for the BCCI. Since the end of the ODI World Cup, where Bumrah played all 11 games for India, he has appeared in only five Test matches – two against South Africa and three against England. He was not named for the fourth Test in Ranchi but is expected to be back for the last game in Dharamsala on March 7 before embarking on a hectic schedule starting with the Indian Premier League next month and ending with the T20 World Cup in June.

Bumrah, arguably the greatest pacer in the world currently, has been in splendid form in the series against England that India currently lead 2-1, picking up 17 wickets and bowling some incredible deliveries to leave the opponents stunned even as the other India bowlers have struggled with consistency. Bumrah changed the course of the Visakhapatnam Test and ensured India wrested control of the game after England were 114-1 in the second innings. No other bowler had taken as many wickets in the first three Tests.

Read: Jasprit Bumrah is a rarity in home Tests, which makes his mastery even more exceptional

Bumrah has bowled a total of 80.5 overs this series – the most by any quick. He sent down 24.4 overs in Hyderabad and then 33.1 overs in Vizag, with a four-day gap between the two Tests. There was a 10-day gap ahead of the third game in Rajkot, where Bumrah sent down a total of 23 overs, including eight in the second innings.

India are also missing the services of Virat Kohli for the Test series due to the birth of his second child, with the former skipper missing a home Test series for the second time in his career. They are also without Mohammed Shami, who continues to recover from an injury and has not played a game since the World Cup final in November.

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