Back and forth: A timeline of Jasprit Bumrah’s back injuries
Jasprit Bumrah’s recent stint with injuries has seen him on the sidelines since September last year. Initially deemed fit for the Sri Lanka ODIs this month, the India quick will now miss the first two Tests against Australia. Here’s a detailed timeline of his back injury issues in the past.
India’s Test squad faced a huge blow after Bumrah was one of their key players not selected for the upcoming home series against Australia, with Rishabh Pant not in contention either. The left-handed wicketkeeper continues to recover after a horrific car accident in December, while Bumrah misses out after failing to recover from a back injury he sustained last year.
It is a long-standing problem for the quick, with experts also predicting that Bumrah’s action puts a huge load on his back. His slinky, unorthodox action combined with a short run-up increases the pressure on his back when he lands, with Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar stating that his action generates speed from the shoulders and the back, which opens him up to injuries.
The first time Bumrah was out of action due to his back was in 2019, one-and-a-half years after making his Test debut and becoming a regular for the team across all formats. He picked up a hat-trick on the tour to West Indies in September and ended the tour with 13 wickets in two matches. Upon returning to India, a fitness test showed a back issue, and as a result, he did not play the home Tests against South Africa as a precaution. Scans revealed a lower-back stress fracture, and he was out of action for four months, also missing the Test series against Bangladesh and the white-ball games against Bangladesh, West Indies and Sri Lanka.
Bumrah did not undergo surgery but was flown to the UK for treatment. He made a successful comeback to cricket on India’s tour to New Zealand, where he played five T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests.
Bumrah took part in the fifth Test against England in July before playing one T20I against England. He also played the first two ODIs, picking up 6-19 and 2-49 in his outings before he was rested for the third game after complaining of back spasms. The update did not raise much concern at that time but continues stalling his comeback.
Bumrah was not selected for India’s T20I squad for the Asia Cup, with a BCCI release stating that he was not available for selection due to an injury and that he was undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
Bumrah was picked in the squads for the T20Is against Australia and South Africa after missing two months of action. Bumrah did not play the first Australia T20I, with Rohit Sharma saying he was given a “game’s break” for the first match and that he would “probably come back in the second and the third game.” Bumrah did play the remaining two games in the series, ending with 1-23 and 0-50, bowling a total of six overs across the two T20Is.
September- October 2022
India were without Bumrah for the first T20I against South Africa at home, with Rohit attributing his absence to a “niggle.” A BCCI statement later said that Bumrah experienced “back pain” during India’s practice session and was subsequently ruled out of the series.
With the T20 World Cup on the horizon, concerns over Bumrah’s availability remained. Reports ranged from back spasms, which would rule him out for a couple of weeks, to a stress fracture, which could see him out for months. Bumrah, who had been named in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup, was later ruled out due to a stress fracture, with Mohammed Shami replacing him in the squad.
Chief selector Chetan Sharma did admit that Bumrah was rushed back into action: “We tried to hurry Jasprit Bumrah before the T20 World Cup and you saw what happened. So we want to be patient now. The NCA team is looking after him well. Right now, we are a little cautious about including Bumrah.”
A video of Bumrah bowling in the nets was shared by the cricketer himself, raising hopes of a comeback ahead of the Australia Tests in February. The video was shared along with the caption “Full throttle.”
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January 3, 2023
Bumrah was initially not added to the ODI squad for the Sri Lanka series but was a late addition to the squad after seemingly recovering. A BCCI statement said, “The pacer has undergone rehabilitation and has been declared fit by the National Cricket Academy (NCA). He will be joining the Team India ODI squad soon.”
January 9, 2023
Bumrah was ruled out of the Sri Lanka ODIs and did not travel to Guwahati, the venue for the first game after complaining of a “stiff back” during nets. The BCCI said he needed “more time to build bowling resilience” and was ruled out as a precautionary measure. According to ESPNCricinfo, he needs another month of rehab for stiffness in his right glute. While Bumrah had cleared a match simulation test at the NCA, he experienced discomfort with higher workloads.
January 13, 2023
Bumrah was not named in the squad for the first two Tests against Australia, which will begin on February 9.