Old Trafford Test: Sunil Gavaskar against the idea of resting Jasprit Bumrah

Written by Sumit Seth

Sunil Gavaskar has made it clear that India can’t afford to rest Jasprit Bumrah ahead of the fifth and final Test against England at Old Trafford, starting on Friday.

Jasprit Bumrah, who has bagged 18 wickets in the ongoing series, will have to squeeze every ounce of energy from his already overworked body.

“I think in my view, you’re still playing for India and the series is yet to be won. If you are 2-0 up, then rest Bumrah, but we still haven’t won the series so Bumrah has to play,” Gavaskar said on the Sony Sports Network.

India are leading 2-1 right now. However, just like the last four Tests, the visitors’ line-up for the game is set to evoke curiosity. At the heart of the conversation will certainly be Bumrah’s workload after having bowled 151 overs already in the past one month, including 22 intense overs on the fourth and fifth day of the Oval Test which India won by 157 runs.

With Mohammed Shami being declared fit, he is set to walk into the playing XI but skipper Kohli’s call in absence of head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharath Arun, both suffering from Covid-19, will be crucial.

In perfect bowling conditions that the Old Trafford provides at times, not playing Bumrah will be a travesty but then a T20 World Cup is there in six weeks time which will make any captain ponder over the worst of possibilities, including injuries which might hamper India’s chances.

Umesh Yadav (6 wickets) and all-rounder Shardul Thakur (3 wickets 117 runs), after their respective impressive performances in the last game, aren’t going to be benched and Bumrah is someone who will be required big time in the biggest game of the series.

In case, the team management looks at the bigger picture and decides giving Bumrah an option to cool his heels, then Mohammed Siraj, despite an underwhelming show in the last Test, will get a look-in.

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Sumit Seth