Jasprit Bumrah set to be rested for 4th Test in Ranchi after playing three straight matches: Report

In a closely monitored decision by team management, India’s leading fast bowler and vice-captain, Jasprit Bumrah, is scheduled to sit out the fourth Test in the ongoing five-match series against England, despite India currently leading 2-1. This strategic move comes as part of the team’s workload management policy, especially significant considering Bumrah’s comeback from an 11-month hiatus due to a back injury in August of the previous year. Since his return, Bumrah has been judiciously included only in Test matches for India, including the series against South Africa in December-January and the current assignment against England.

Cricbuzz has reported that Bumrah, originally intended to rest during the Rajkot Test, will now take a break for the upcoming Ranchi game. This rest period could offer him close to 20 days of recuperation before potentially returning for the series finale in Dharamsala, slated to begin on March 7th. However, Bumrah’s return is contingent on the outcome of the Ranchi Test.

Bumrah has had a substantial workload over the series, having delivered more than 80 overs across six innings, which includes bowling spells of 8.3, 16.1, 15.5, 17.2, 15, and 8 overs in the last three weeks alone. Given the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the T20 World Cup on the horizon, managing his playing time effectively is of paramount importance.

The Ranchi Test could see a new face if Bumrah is to be replaced – either Mukesh Kumar or possibly a fourth spinner, depending on the condition of the pitch, which could be conducive to spin. Mukesh, who was temporarily released from the squad to participate in the Ranji Trophy, has been in impressive form, claiming 10 wickets in Bengal’s encounter against Bihar, including a 6-wicket haul in the second innings.

This isn’t the first instance of rest rotation within the Indian squad; Mohammed Siraj was also given time off during the second Test, on account of his extensive involvement across formats for the national team in recent months.

India’s commanding position in the series was bolstered by a mammoth 434-run victory over England in Rajkot. The team’s goal is to clinch the series with a win in the fourth Test match at the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi, which will only be the third Test played at the venue. India’s record at the stadium includes a victory against South Africa in 2019 and a draw against Australia in 2017.

The rest for Bumrah not only represents meticulous planning by the Indian cricket establishment but also provides an opportunity for burgeoning talent to step up and make a mark on the international stage. The decision underlines the importance of player fitness and longevity, particularly for a fast bowler of Bumrah’s caliber, whose unique action and speed are crucial assets for the team across all formats.

As the cricketing world looks ahead to the T20 World Cup and further engagements, the Indian team’s approach to handling their premier bowler’s workload could well set a precedent for other nations. The balance between maintaining a competitive edge and ensuring the wellbeing of a core player is delicate, and India seems to be navigating this path with a clear strategy in mind. Whether this decision will pay dividends in terms of team performance and Bumrah’s future contributions remains to be seen as the Ranchi Test looms over the horizon, and the cricketing fraternity watches with bated breath.

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