3 Players who can replace Jasprit Bumrah in India’s playing XI for fourth Test vs England


The tension is mounting as the Indian cricket team prepares for the fourth Test against England, scheduled to start on February 23. This match, taking place in Ranchi, comes at a critical juncture, with India leading the five-match series 2-1. The teams are returning from a remarkable game in Rajkot, where India clinched a 434-run victory following their loss in the opening Test. Jasprit Bumrah, with 17 wickets from 80.5 overs, has emerged as the lead bowler in the series and the highest wicket-taker, a remarkable achievement given the expected dominance of spinners.

However, with the T20 World Cup on the horizon, the Indian team management is concerned about Bumrah’s workload and is considering resting him for the fourth Test. This prospect has led to speculations about who could fill the shoes of this vital pacer in Ranchi. Let’s explore three players who are in the fray to take up the mantle if Bumrah is indeed rested for the upcoming Test.

The first candidate is Axar Patel, whose previous performance for India has been noteworthy both with the ball and the bat. Patel was rested during the Rajkot Test to make way for Kuldeep Yadav, but he is a strong candidate to return to the lineup, particularly if the pitch in Ranchi turns out to be spinner-friendly. With only one seamer likely to play, Axar could provide India with much-needed depth in their batting order. So far, in this series, Axar has claimed five wickets, and a comeback would be an opportunity to add to that tally significantly.

Another player in contention is Mukesh Kumar, a part of the Indian squad though released before the third Test, and certainly hasn’t been dropped from the team’s plans. Mukesh made his mark in domestic cricket recently, securing 10 wickets in Bengal’s Ranji Trophy match against Bihar. His performance led Bengal to a comprehensive victory by an innings and 204 runs. Mukesh played in the second Test, replacing Mohammed Siraj, and took one wicket. His domestic form could be a decisive factor in getting him the nod for the fourth Test.

The third potential replacement for Bumrah is an exciting prospect, Akash Deep, who has impressed many during his outings for India A. Included in the squad for the last three Tests, Deep could well make his debut in Ranchi. With 30 first-class matches under his belt and a haul of 104 wickets, his selection would be a bold move, but one that might provide the Indian cricket team with a fresh and potent bowling option.

Each of the three candidates brings a unique set of skills to the table. Axar Patel offers a dual threat with his left-arm spin and his ability to contribute valuable runs lower down the order. Mukesh Kumar, with his domestic form being impressive, has a golden chance to shine on the international stage. Meanwhile, Akash Deep’s potential debut could be the wild card that India is looking to play.

Whoever steps in for Jasprit Bumrah, if the ace pacer is indeed rested, will have big shoes to fill. But as it often happens in the dynamic world of cricket, new heroes can emerge when the opportunity arises. The fourth Test in Ranchi is not just about extending a lead or salvaging a series; it’s also an opportunity for new talents to make a mark. As the countdown to the upcoming Test continues, all eyes will be on the Indian think-tank as they finalize the playing XI that will take to the field against a determined English side.

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