The Murphy’s law, ‘If anything can go wrong, it will’ describes India’s current situation in England the best. After starting the tour on a high note by beating England in the T20’s, India’s performances have gone down the hill. And in the ongoing Test series, the Indian team has been completely outplayed.
Among other reasons, the absence of strike bowlers has resulted in India’s two defeats in this series so far. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who are India’s finest bowlers at the moment sat out for the first two Tests due to injuries. Although Bumrah staged a comeback in the third Test, Bhuvneshwar is still battling with his injury. This arises the question, why is it taking so long for Bhuvneshwar to heal from an injury which affected him during IPL in May?
The answer partly lies in BCCI’s policy of players workload management and also in how an individual player accesses his own physical condition and responds to it.
In Bhuvneshwar’s context, BCCI’s player workload management policy has been unimpressive as it failed to check the fast bowler’s physical condition and prevent it from depleting. Bhuvneshwar has been playing games consistently in the past without much break. He was part of India’s tour of South Africa where he played in two Tests and the ODI series where he featured in five games and then played the IPL where he got himself injured.
But the crucial aspect of Bhuvneshwar’s injury happened in England when was drafted in India’s team for the third ODI. The fast bowler bowled seven overs in the match and aggravated his injury which ensured he couldn’t play in the first three Tests of this tour. It should be noted that he ‘aggravated’ the injury which means the injury wasn’t yet completely healed.
If this was the case then why did the team management drafted Bhuvneshwar in the team for the third ODI knowing very well that he hasn’t recovered yet completely? And didn’t Bhuvneshwar himself know about his physical condition?
Whatever the reasons, it is certain that the fast bowler’s injury has costed the team heavily. In both the Tests, there was plenty of swing available which James Anderson cashed on and it was the ideal condition for Bhuvneshwar to bring out his best. Given the fact that he was India’s most successful bowler in the 2014 tour, he could have been pivotal this time as well but thanks to errors in BCCI’s systems, India is deprived of their best resource.