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Why was Jasprit Bumrah rested despite pacer’s readiness to play Ranchi Test? India coach explains unusual decision

Jasprit Bumrah was rested for the fourth Test in Ranchi to manage his workload.

India’s premier fast bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, will sit out the fourth Test of the series against England, scheduled to start on Friday in Ranchi. Bumrah, currently the top-ranked Test bowler, played in all three Tests in the series and was granted rest as part of the pacer’s workload management.

India’s Jasprit Bumrah bowls a delivery during the third Test against England in Rajkot(PTI)

Bumrah had not accompanied his teammates as Team India landed in Ranchi on Tuesday, which triggered speculations over his participation in the Test. The BCCI eventually confirmed Bumrah’s absence a day later.

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“The decision was taken keeping in mind the duration of the series and amount of cricket he has played in recent times,” the BCCI said in a release.

Ahead of the fourth Test, India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour also spoke about Bumrah’s absence from the squad, insisting that while the team management would “love” to see the star pace in action, managing his workload is important.

“We love to see Bumrah play every match. But it is not advisable. The kind of workload, schedule we have, everybody felt it’s better to give him a break. He was absolutely fine but we also have to keep in mind the workload ahead,” said Rathour.

This newspaper reported on Wednesday that Bumrah was keen on taking the field in all five of India’s Tests in the series against England. Thanks to the extended breaks between the second and fourth Tests, Bumrah was confident he could play in all five matches; however, the decision-makers thought otherwise.

Bumrah was not the only pace bowler given rest in the ongoing series; Mohammed Siraj, who produced a fine performance in India’s record 434-run win in the third Test in Rajkot, was also rested from the second match of the series in Visakhapatnam.

The 30-year-old Bumrah has only played Tests since the 2023 World Cup final on November 19; these included two matches against South Africa, and three against England. While Bumrah will definitely return to the squad for the fifth and final Test in Dharamsala, it would be last bit of action for the Indian team before the T20 World Cup in June, where he will be a sure starter.

India lead the five-Test series 2-1 after wins in Visakhapatnam and Rajkot, and will aim to clinch a series win over Ben Stokes’ men when the fourth Test starts on February 23.


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