'A' One-Day Quad-Series
Fit-again Bhuvi set for India return
India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been cleared to make his return after overcoming a back injury
28 August 2018, 10:47 AM AEST
India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar will make his long-awaited comeback from a back injury this week, but not for India's Test side in the pivotal fourth match of their series against England.
The 28-year-old will instead line up for India A in their 50-over third-place playoff match against South Africa A on Wednesday.
Bhuvneshwar last played in the third ODI against England at Headingley on July 17. He had been battling a lower back condition that eventually saw him ruled out of the tour.
His return would normally be seen as a lift for India, but question marks remain over his readiness for a full Test match and he has not been included in the named India squad for the final two Tests against England.
India currently trail 2-1 in that series following their win at Trent Bridge in the third Test, with Jasprit Bumrah making a successful return from his own injury worries to star with a five-wicket haul.
Bhuvneshwar could yet be parachuted back into the Test team for the fifth and final Test against England at The Oval which starts on September 7.
Interestingly, the right-armer was added to the India A squad for the third-placed playoff at the KSCA Stadium, and not the India B team that will meet Australia A in the final at Bengaluru's main venue, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Bhuvneshwar had tests on his troublesome back in London before being left out of India's squad for the first three Tests, and was sent back to India as initial expectations of a four-week layoff ballooned.
In 21 Tests, Bhuvneshwar has taken 63 wickets and the right-arm seamer was seen as a key weapon for the Indians in English conditions.
The India team's next assignment after the England tour is the Asia Cup, starting September 15 in the UAE.
It's unclear if Bhuvneshwar will face Australia A in the four-day first-class matches that follow the 50-over series, however the Australians will face impressive left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Kuldeep had starred for India's limited-overs sides in their matches against England, but failed to impress when selected in the Test side for the heavy defeat at Lord's, going wicketless.
India A's first-class side will be captained by Shreyas Iyer, with Test hopeful Mayank Agarwal also picked following his double-century against South Africa A in four-day matches preceding the one-day tournament.
India A four-day squad: Shreyas Iyer (c), Mayank Agarwal, R Samarth, A Easwaran, Ankit Bawne, Shubman Gill, KS Bharat (wk), Shahbaz Nadeem, Kuldeep Yadav, K Gowtham, Rajneesh Gurbani, Navdeep Saini, Ankit Rajpoot, M Siraj
Australia A Tour of India
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Matthew Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth
17 August v India A: Match abandoned
19 August v South Africa A: Match abandoned
21 August v India B: Match abandoned
23 August v India A - lost by five wickets.
25 August v South Africa A - won by 32 runs.
29 August - Quad-Series Final
Australia A four-day squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Matthew Renshaw, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain
Four-day fixtures in Vizag
2-5 September v India A
8-11 September v India A