After India‘s eight-wicket defeat in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand, the focus now shifts towards the upcoming five-match Test series against England, starting August 4.
Despite having a number of options in their current pace attack, India struggled to make the most of the conditions in Southampton which led to questions being raised on the bowling combination.
There were reports that Mohammed Siraj could be picked ahead of one of the senior Indian pacers for the marquee clash. However, the management decided to back their tried and tested trio of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami.
While Shami and Ishant did manage to impress, Bumrah returned wicketless in the WTC Final. It was clearly evident that India were missing a genuine swing bowler, who could’ve exploited the conditions on offer at the Ageas Bowl.
Ahead of the Test series against England, former England skipper Nasser Hussain, who was part of the commentary team for the WTC Final, wants India to add Bhuvneshwar Kumar to their squad, even if the latter manages to play a couple of Tests.
“Bhuvneshwar should be called up for the England series. Though he has injury concerns, even if he can play two or three Tests for India, the team will greatly benefit. The conditions will suit him and we all saw how the team is missing a genuine swing bowler,” he said.
‘Bhuvi’ is one of the best swing bowlers in the world at the moment. However, he is not part of India’s Test squad for the England series. Instead, he will be spearheading India’s pace attack in the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka next month.
While Shikhar Dhawan has been named captain of the team, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be his deputy. India will play three ODIs and three T20Is against Sri Lanka. The R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo will host all the six games.