Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is reportedly said to have been left out of the 20-man squad for the World Test Championship Final and the England Tests owing to concerns over his fitness. Bhuvi has endured a wretched three years with respect to injuries, starting from the 2018 tour of England.
Last week, the Indian selectors announced the squad for the World Test Championship Final and the five Tests versus England and while 90% of the squad consisted of obvious picks, there was a shocking and notable omission in the form of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Widely regarded as the best swing bowler in the country, Bhuvneshwar was left out despite conditions in England tailor-made for him to succeed. With him featuring in the LOI games versus England and also partaking in the IPL, the 31-year-old was expected to be named in the extended squad but his subsequent omission came as a shock to many, who questioned the logic and sanity behind the decision.
The selectors have not publicly explained the reason behind Bhuvneshwar’s omission, but, according to a BCCI source, doubts over Bhuvneshwar’s ability to play five-day cricket led to him being left out of the squad. Bhuvneshwar last played red-ball cricket three years ago, and this is said to have worked against the right-armer, who was touted by many to be the ‘x-factor’ in the forthcoming tour.
"The selectors think that he is still not fit to play long format especially on such a long tour," TOI quoted a source in the know as saying.
Injuries have meant that Bhuvneshwar has largely been restricted to playing just white-ball cricket. The 31-year-old missed the 2018 England Tests due to injury, and also sustained injuries mid-way through the 2019 World Cup and IPL 2020. The right-armer has not played any first-class cricket since 2018, and his last Test also came in the same year, against South Africa, a game in which he was named the Man of the Match.