India’s star pacer Jasprit Bumrah will undergo his fitness test ahead of the Ranji Trophy against Kerala when he plays for Gujarat in the match beginning in Surat on Wednesday (December 25).
The unconventional bowler, who has been on a recovery stint from stress fracture since September, was on Monday (December 23) named in the national squad for the Australia tour of India and Sri Lanka’s tour to the homeland next month.
Bumrah will make his national comeback in the Ranji match followed by playing for the country in the T20s and ODIs against Sri Lanka and Australia, respectively.
All eyes will be on the 26-year-old, who will take a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy as told by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly in Kolkata on Friday (December 20), in a match attended by the chief selector MSK Prasad.
Bumrah last donned the national colours during the Test series in West Indies. India’s go-to bowler in all three formats, in the second game in Jamaica, became only the third Indian to take a Test hat-trick after veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and pacer Irfan Pathan.
Indian cricket fans expected his comeback when he featured at the nets in the training session ahead of the second ODI against the West Indies in Visakhapatnam last week.
Bumrah, who has taken 62 Test wickets in 12 games at 19.24 besides 103 and 51 scalps in ODIs and T20s respectively at 21.88 and 20.17, will bolster his state team’s pace attack with his presence.
Gujarat come into their second game of the tournament after comfortably beating Hyderabad in an away game.
Kerala, on the other hand, will be under pressure to deliver following their defeat to Bengal at home. In their tournament-opener, Kerala had allowed Delhi to escape with a draw.
The visiting side will bank on Sanju Samson’s good form to pull it through. Samson, who is part of India’s T20 squad, scored a hundred in Kerala’s last game against Bengal.
(With inputs from agencies)