Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s absence from India’s squad for the tour to the UK for the Test assignments was surprising to an extent, as not only had he gained fitness this year but also the pacer himself had expressed desire to play Test cricket after making his white-ball comeback in the home matches against England.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had not played a Test match since January 2018, has had multiple injury issues which have kept him away from the national side. The pacer was brilliant in his comeback limited-overs series against England – prior to the IPL 2021 – and was vocal about making a return in the longest format as well.
“I was unfit for a very long time, it’s on my mind that the England tour and a few important series are coming up so I will try to stay fit. I have not ruled out red-ball cricket. My preparation would also keep the red-ball format in mind. It is a different matter as to what happens in Test selection. Workload management in IPL would keep red-ball cricket in mind. I want to play Tests, so I will try to stay ready for the longest format,” he had said then.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar just does not want to play Test cricket anymore: Sources
However, now, after the Uttar Pradesh pacer was excluded from the Test tour of the UK – which comprises the World Test Championship final versus New Zealand followed by the 5-Test series against England – a source close to the tracking of Bhuvneshwar Kumar has said that the seamer has lost the zeal to play in the longest format.
The source also added that the Sunrisers Hyderabad spearhead pacer is not seen as a bowler for the 5-day format by the selectors. Considering the services which he could have provided to the side, with his renowned swing movement ability, in England, the source says it is India’s loss that Kumar is not on the flight to the UK.
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar just does not want to play Test cricket anymore. That drive has gone missing,” a source tracking the developments closely told TOI.
“To be honest, the selectors don’t even see Bhuvi hungry for 10 overs, forget Test cricket. It’s Team India’s loss no doubt, because if one bowler should have made it to England, it should have been him,” the source stated.
Despite the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Virat Kohli and management are not short of pace bowling choices. The contingent is expected to depart on June 2; the WTC final is slated for June 18th in Southampton.