India Suffer Test Bowling Blow

It is understood that India will be without pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the first three Tests against England this summer.

The 28-year-old aggravated a lower back injury during the third ODI defeat to the hosts at Headingley on Tuesday and had to be assessed afterwards by the Indian medical team.

But reports in India have revealed that Kumar will return home for treatment and miss the Test matches at Edgbaston, Lord’s and Trent Bridge.

If he proves his fitness, the right-arm bowler is expected return to England in August and could feature in the final two Tests of the series at the Ageas Bowl and the Kia Oval.

It’s not the only injury worry for the Indian selectors, though, as Jasprit Bumrah is also a concern ahead of the first Test, which starts on Wednesday, August 1.

The young pace bowler, who made his Test debut earlier this year, is expected to miss the opening Test of a five-match series. His fitness concerns have led to Shardul Thakur remaining in England after the ODI series in case he is needed.

Elsewhere, spinner Kuldeep Yadav has been included in India’s 18-man squad for the first three Tests against England.

The left-arm wrist spinner impressed during the recent limited-overs matches and could be given a chance in the five-day format.

Yadav claimed a five-wicket haul in the first T20 international at Old Trafford and then took 6-25 in India’s eight-wicket ODI win in Nottingham last week.

Batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who has been playing County Championship cricket for Yorkshire, has also included in the squad.

The 30-year-old has already got a first-class century to his name this season after making 101 for the Tykes in their clash with Worcestershire in May.

There is no place for Rohit Sharma, despite his two limited-overs centuries, as the selectors decided that wasn’t enough reason to hand him a Test comeback.

India squad for first three Tests against England: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.

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