New Delhi: Fast-bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is set to make a comeback into international cricket after being named as India’s captain for the three-match T20I series against Ireland. In the squad, fast-bowler Prasidh Krishna also makes a return to the team. The three T20I matches between India and Ireland will be played in Malahide on August 18, 20 and 23.
India and Ireland played a two-match T20I series in June 2022, with the visitors winning the series 2-0, though the hosts’ came close to winning. For the tour of Ireland, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, and Shahbaz Ahmed have also been included, with Ruturaj Gaikwad appointed as vice-captain of the side.
The majority of the players picked for T20Is against Ireland will also feature in the men’s T20 competition in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. Many regulars like Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Suryakumar Yadav have been rested, with the 50-over Asia Cup starting from August 30. Bumrah previously captained India in the rescheduled fifth Test against England at Birmingham in July 2022.
Bumrah has been out of competitive cricket since late September last year, when he pulled out of the home T20Is against South Africa, after playing in two games against Australia. The reoccurrence of back injury resulted in him missing the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia. He had also missed the Asia Cup held last year in the UAE.
Bumrah attempted a comeback in January this year for the ODI series against Sri Lanka. But he was withdrawn on the eve of the ODI series opener at Guwahati, with the BCCI citing the need for him to build bowling resilience and calling the decision a precautionary measure. He then underwent back surgery in New Zealand in March and has been on a recovery route since then at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
On the other hand, Prasidh had been out of action since playing in an ODI against Zimbabwe in August last year due to a lumbar stress fracture in the back which needed surgery and was also undergoing rehab at the NCA. Last week, the BCCI had said that the two fast bowlers were in the final stages of their rehab and bowled with full intensity in the nets, with the medical team being pleased with their progress. On July 27, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said that Bumrah was fully fit and could play in T20Is against Ireland.
The return of Bumrah and Prasidh augurs well for India, especially with the Men’s ODI World Cup happening from October 5 to November 19 at home. India squad for T20Is against Ireland: Jasprit Bumrah (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad (vice-captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson (wk), Jitesh Sharma (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Prasidh Krishna, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan.