Jasprit Bumrah has been out of competitive cricket for the past many months. (AFP Image)
The National Cricket Academy’s sports science & medicine team is working hard with Jasprit Bumrah to help him get back on the park.
Jasprit Bumrah’s comeback to competitive cricket is still under the scanners as the National Cricket Academy is keeping an eye on the paceman’s recovery before declaring him fit for the T20I series against Ireland.
The premier India pacer hasn’t played for 10 months now after sustaining a back injury and missed several big tournaments including Asia Cup 2022, T20 World Cup 2022, Border-Gavaskar Trophy and World Test Championship final.
Though Bumrah has started bowling in the nets but there’s still no clarity on whether he’s back to full fitness.
The Indian cricket team management desperately wants Bumrah to be ready before ODI World Cup 2023 and he should also have enough game time before the marquee tournament.
The NCA’s sports science & medicine team is working hard with the India star to help him get back on the field.
CricketNext had reported that Bumrah might make a comeback with the Ireland T20Is next month.
While the target is ODI comeback looking at the global event, the people in charge of overseeing Bumrah’s ‘RTP’ or ‘Return To Play’ would want him to go through the paces starting with four-over spells.
According to a report in news agency PTI, even if Bumrah managed to get into the squad for Ireland tour, it will be highly unlikely for him to play all three matches.
However, it could be confirmed with some degree of certainty that the national selection panel led by Ajit Agarkar hasn’t yet received a green light from physios and doctors that the Mumbai Indians man will be fit and available for the Irish sojourn.
“There used to be an unwritten rule that if someone’s coming back from a long lay-off due to an injury, he needs to play some domestic cricket to prove his fitness. I guess NCA and selection committee has made an exemption for him since he is not a part of West Zone squad for Deodhar Trophy games.
“Also it means that, till now, he is not match ready or else he would have played one Deodhar game,” a BCCI source told PTI on condition of anonymity.
The Agarkar-led selection committee will announce the squad for the Ireland tour in the coming days after getting an update on Bumrah.
“Before the Ireland selection meeting, the NCA physio will update Agarkar and Co with fitness report of all the players. If physio’s report states that Bumrah, apart from bowling four overs, will also be able to field 16 overs and subsequently 40 overs (in ODIs) with full intensity, he will be selected.
“As per latest information, the panel hasn’t received a green light from them,” the source added.
“The selectors won’t just see bowling fitness, they would also take into account if he is in a position to field in humid conditions in Sri Lanka during the Asia Cup. He might need to do a lot of work in the deep. So it is not just about 7-8 overs of bowling in the nets.”
There have been reports that Bumrah has been bowling around 7 to 8 overs at the NCA but, unlike some of the other injured players, who have posted short videos of their return to skills training (batting bowling) on their social media handles, Bumrah has remained very guarded.
The premier paceman posted a video on Instagram which included still photographs of his bowling session at the NCA and the fans were left impressed with the update.
The last video that Bumrah posted of his bowling full throttle was on December 16, 2022 at the NCA, when he was doing his previous rehab after missing the T20 World Cup.
Subsequently, he was named in the home series but had to pull out after not feeling hundred per cent and was sent for back surgery in New Zealand.