The Indian pacer was ruled out of the first three of the five Tests after aggravating a lower back injury in the preceding ODI series. At the time of announcing the squad for the first three Tests, the Indian selectors had stated that Bhuvneshwar could return for the final two matches but that scenario is looking bleaker by the passing minute.
According to a report by the Mumbai Mirror, Bhuvneshwar’s recovery has been slower than expected and he is now set to miss the entire Test series.
The seamer is currently recuperating at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru after having returned from England. The report states that sources at the NCA and the Indian team management in Nottingham have resigned themselves to the fact that the 28-year-old will not feature in England again this summer.
This will come as a big blow for the Indian team who could have done with Bhuvneshwar’s mastery of swing and seam in helping conditions in England.
The visitors were handed a minor boost ahead of the Trent Bridge Test which gets underway on Saturday with pacer Jasprit Bumrah being declared fit to play. Bumrah had endured a lengthy spell on the sidelines after fracturing his thumb in the second T20 against Ireland in Dublin earlier this summer.
The 19-year-old had been enjoying a maiden stint in England’s domestic competition and had been in impressive form of late before being called up the Afghanistan squad.
In the last three matches that he has bowled in, Rashid had picked up three wickets apiece in each of the games. In the 11 matches that he played for Sussex in the competition, the Afghanistan man picked up 17 wickets with a best of 3-9 against Glamorgan.
“Sussex Cricket would like to thank the ACB (Afghan Cricket Board) for their flexibility in allowing Rashid to remain with the club beyond his initial seven-match agreement,” a statement on the club’s website read.
“Everyone at the club would like to thank Rashid for his contributions on and off the pitch during his first spell with us,” it added.
Thank you so much each and everyone for the great hospitality and some wonderful memories. Good luck for the game tonight hope to see you guys next year .Surly will miss you #Sharkattack— Rashid Khan (@rashidkhan_19) August 17, 2018
‘Thank you so much each and everyone for the great hospitality and some wonderful memories. Good luck for the game tonight hope to see you guys next year. Surely will miss you,” Rashid tweeted on his part.
The leg-spinner will now join up with the Afghanistan squad which is due to tour Ireland.
The Afghans and Ireland will play three T20s with the first of them taking place on Monday at Bready in Northern Ireland. The T20s will be followed by three ODIs which will be held at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Belfast.
For hosts England, a series win will be on the line after a 31-run win at Edgbaston was followed up by an innings victory at Lord’s.
The visitors, meanwhile, have their ‘backs against the wall’ in the words of skipper Virat Kohli as they seek a silver lining to what has been a shambolic tour so far for the No1 ranked Test team in the world.
Here, we look at the key talking points ahead of the Nottingham showdown.
UNLUCKY SAM CURRAN MISSES OUT AS STOKES RETURNS
Once star all-rounder Ben Stokes was cleared of the affray charges by the Bristol Crown Court, the question on everyone’s lips was whom he would replace should he play at Trent Bridge.
That question was answered on Friday by skipper Joe Root who confirmed Stokes’ return to the playing XI with Sam Curran being the unfortunate player to miss out. While Root has called it as the ‘toughest selection call’ he has had to make as England Test skipper, it is hard not to feel for 20-year-old Curran who put in a man-of-the-match performance at Edgbaston in what was only the second Test match of his fledgling career.
INDIA GET JASPRIT BUMRAH BOOST
Nothing has gone right for India on the tour ever since they took a 1-0 lead in the preceding ODI series but they were handed a significant boost ahead of the Trent Bridge Test with pacer Jasprit Bumrah being declared fit to play.
The visitors’ pace battery had been severely handicapped by injuries to both Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the former’s return should lift the spirits within the Indian camp.
If he does feature as expected on Saturday, it will only be the fourth match of a still young Test career but he has already shown he has the tools to succeed with the red-ball after an excellent debut tour of South Africa where he picked up 14 wickets in three matches.
Ravi Shastri admitted that playing Kuldeep Yadav at Lord’s was a mistake and the wrist-spinner will be the most likely one to make way for Bumrah’s return.
STUART BROAD ON VERGE OF JOINING EXCLUSIVE CLUB
If Lord’s is James Anderson’s favourite stomping ground, then Trent Bridge is Stuart Broad’s.
It was on this ground that he delivered his career-best figures of 8-15 in the 2015 Ashes Test against arch-rivals Australia. When India came calling to Nottingham in their tour of 2011, they had gained the upper hand in the match before Broad dragged the hosts back with a sensational hat-trick in the first innings before England ultimately walked away with a mammoth 319-run win.
Thirty-seven wickets in eight matches in Trent Bridge at an average just over 20 should make India fearful of Broad. Should the senior England pacer register 12 runs in the Test, he will become only the fifth player in history after Shane Warne, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee and Shaun Pollock to have scored 3,000 runs while also picking up at least 400 wickets.
TRENT BRIDGE OFFERS PROMISE TO BOTH TEAMS
While India are hurting currently, they can take comfort from the fact that Trent Bridge has seen them play some of their best cricket in England. Bar the 319-run defeat in 2011, the Indians have not lost at the venue in their last five visits. It was the setting of their series victory in 2007 when Zaheer Khan led India to a seven-wicket win at the venue.
However, England’s record at the ground is nothing to be scoffed at either. Only once have the hosts been beaten at Nottingham over the course of the last decade. That defeat came against South Africa last year. Worryingly for India, England have won six of their last eight Tests at the venue.