The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Monday, announced India Men's squad for the upcoming T20I series against Ireland, with the series marking the comeback of Jasprit Bumrah, who will also lead the squad.
Jasprit Bumrah returns to action
After missing out on major events like the ACC Men's Asia Cup 2022, ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Indian Premier League 2023 and this year's World Test Championship final due to a severe back injury, Bumrah is set to return to cricketing action in August.
The pacer picked up a back injury during the ODI series against England 2022 after which he was rested for the third game. However, his injury got worse and the recurring back spasms and pains ensured he was ruled out of the T20 World Cup last year after initially being declared fit for the Australia T20Is. He was ruled fit in January 2023, and selected for the ODIs against Sri Lanka, before being ruled out again after experiencing back stiffness during the nets.
Bumrah underwent surgery earlier in March this year, which was described as “pain-free”.
He has been seen bowling full-tilt at the nets recently and after passing all prerequired fitness tests, will be donning the blues of India for the first time since September 2022. With the Asia Cup and World Cup right around the corner, the news of Bumrah's return should be music to Indian fans' ears.
IPL performers rewarded
With the series set to take place less than a fortnight away from the Asia Cup, none of the players featuring in the ongoing ODI series against West Indies apart from Sanju Samson and Mukesh Kumar have been called up for the Ireland tour. This seems to be a move to manage their workloads and also to have them well-rested ahead of the big events lined up over the next three months. The tour BCCI has also rewarded consistent IPL performers with a national team call-up.
Ruturaj Gaikwad, who scored close to 600 runs in the competition this year and won the Orange Cap in 2021, has not only earned himself a spot, but he will also be shouldering the vice-captain duties. He is expected to open the batting with Yashasvi Jaiswal, who averaged over 48 and struck at more than 160 in the IPL this season and also got off to a blistering start in whites for India.
Tilak Verma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma and Shivam Dube have shown improvement with each passing game in the IPL and will shoulder the middle-order duties. With their ability to go big and play positive, fearless and counterattacking cricket under pressure, India could be keeping a close eye on this group of players considering they are most likely to occupy a majority of the batting spots for India in the years to come.
Prasidh Krishna and Avesh Khan will return from injury, while Arshdeep Singh continues to be a regular in the T20I setup. Ravi Bishnoi will be spearheading the spin department alongside Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Ahmed, who are also the only all-rounders in the squad. After impressive outings in the West Indies, Mukesh Kumar will get another chance in Ireland to prove his mettle.
The series is set to commence on Friday, August 18. India and Ireland will go head-to-head in three T20Is, and all the games will take place in Dublin. The games will start at 7:30 PM Indian Standard Time.
The 15-man squad, as announced, is as follows:
Jasprit Bumrah (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad (Vice Captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson (Wicketkeeper), Jitesh Sharma (Wicketkeeper), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Prasidh Krishna, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan.