Why is Jasprit Bumrah not playing for India?

Jasprit Bumrah made an impressive home debut for India last time out, picking 4 wickets in the first Test. However, India made 3 changes to the side ahead of the 2nd Test against England. As a result, the pacer finds himself on the sidelines, replaced by Mohammed Siraj.

The exclusion of Jasprit Bumrah, India’s de facto leader of the pace attack, surprised many. Especially after he finished the first Test as India’s leading wicket-taker amongst pacers.

So why is Jasprit Bumrah not playing for India?

Explaining his changes at the toss, Virat Kohli mentioned why Jasprit Bumrah is not part of the side.

“Jasprit Bumrah has been rested for this game. We need to manage his workload. Mohammad Siraj comes in for him and he brings good variety.”

Ever since cricket resumed post the COVID-19 lockdown, Jasprit Bumrah has been playing constantly for both his franchise and the Indian cricket team.

The 27-year-old played 15 games for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020, before featuring heavily during India’s tour of Australia. An all-format player, Jasprit Bumrah bowled more than 146 overs in Australia.

Resting Jasprit Bumrah for the 2nd Test is a welcome decision. With the 3rd Test between India and England a day-night fixture, he is expected to lead the attack once again. The rest gives Jasprit Bumrah more than 10 days of rest between games, which will allow him to get back up to speed and be ready for the final 2 Tests.

It also provides an opportunity for Mohammed Siraj to make a mark at home. The pacer had a stellar Test series in Australia, finishing as the side’s leading wicket-taker. The Chennai Test is another chance for Mohammed Siraj to cement his place as a Test regular in the absence of players like Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.

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