Chief selector of the Indian team, MSK Prasad, has admitted that it was difficult for them to overlook Jasprit Bumrah’s sensational performance in ODIs and T20I and revealed he was the unanimous choice of the panel. Yesterday, Bumrah received his maiden call-up to the Test side for the SA tour.
On Monday, BCCI announced the squad for the T20I series against Sri Lanka and the Test side for the three-match series in South Africa. After playing a long home series against Sri Lanka, Team India will visit South Africa for a two-month long tour which will start with the first Test on January 5.
Gujarat pacer Bumrah earned a maiden call-up in the 17-member Test squad and MSK Prasad showed confidence in him and believed that he will do well on the tour. The 23-year-old’s ability to operate with both the old and new ball can come in handy for the Virat Kohli-led side in the seamer-friendly conditions that South Africa has to offer. Bumrah, who has 52 and 40 wickets respectively from 28 ODIs and 3O T20Is, has not played a single first-class match this season.
“With regards to Bumrah, if you see his performance in the last 18 months, it has been phenomenal, sensational in
"There was no doubt in picking Bumrah because he definitely adds variety to pace attack. The nature of wickets in South Africa will suit his bowling."
Apart from Bumrah’s maiden Test call-up, another player made headlines but for all the wrong reasons - Kuldeep Yadav. The left-armed leg-spinner failed to find a place in the Test squad after his impressive performances in 2017. The 22-year-old featured in two Tests for India in which he claimed nine wickets at an average of 20.77. Prasad tried to defend Kuldeep’s exclusion and said they wanted him to grow with time.
"It is unfortunate Kuldeep had to miss out as we will be playing only three Test matches in South Africa. Considering him over World No 1 and 2 spinners [Ashwin and Jadeja] would have been a big ask. But he is a fine bowler and over a period of time, we would see him grow," he said.