Team India is currently involved in their home season with the three-match One-day series against West Indies, set to be their next International assignment. Post the West Indies series, India will host Sri Lanka and Australia for three-match T20I and ODI series respectively before they travel across the Trans-Tasman to New Zealand for a full tour comprising of five-match Twenty20 Internationals, three One-day matches followed by two ICC Test Championship Test matches.
Naturally, with such a hectic tour coming up, the Men in Blue will want each and every player of their touring party to be fully-fit and rearing to go. And, so to make sure that the likes of fast bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and third-opening option Prithvi Shaw are fit and available for the rubber, the Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI] has asked the duo to appear for a fitness test. Both will have a report to the team management in Visakhapatnam- the venue for India vs West Indies, 2nd ODI- on December 18th and 19th.
However, a BCCI official was quoted as saying by Ahmedabad Mirror that the fitness call-up shouldn’t be construed with a selection call, “It is a routine exercise which the BCCI undertakes with the players coming out of injury issues or rehabilitation. Periodically they are tested by the BCCI physios and trainers in their S&C [strength and conditioning] fitness issues”
Jasprit Bumrah will be crucial to India’s fortunes in New Zealand
India has been without the premier fast bowler- Jasprit Bumrah- ever since he suffered a stress fracture in his lower back following the Test series in the Caribbean, and while they haven’t missed him much in the Tests that have followed in the home season, there is no doubt that Bumrah will be their spearhead, come the tour of New Zealand.
The right-handed bolter has already made his mark in Test cricket. In 12 Tests spread across different continents, Bumrah has claimed 62 wickets which included a hattrick and a five-wicket haul in each of Europe, Oceania, Africa, and the Caribbean.
As for Prithvi Shaw, his case has been completely different. After emerging as a first-choice opener following a hundred and a fifty in his opening two Tests against the West Indies, the teenager missed out on the Australian series due to a last-minute injury. And, then the eight-month doping ban happened.
During this period, Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal have asserted themselves at the top of the order, but Shaw- coursey his double hundred against Baroda- has made a strong case for himself as the third-choice opener, and could well travel to New Zealand, given he passes the fitness test.
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