Indian physio and trainer in question for poorly handing Bhuvneshwar Kumar's injury

Indian physio and trainer in question for poorly handing Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injury

Bhuvneshwar played the 3rd ODI against England with an injury and is now uncertain for the Test series.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar of India. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Team India’s lead pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was struggling with a stiff back and wasn’t expected to play the ODI series having already missed all the T20Is. But the team management in a desperate move added him in the playing XI for the series decider 3rd ODI at Leeds. Resultantly he was nowhere near his best with the ball, bowled really short lines trying not to strain his back and had a horrible game. The implications also extend beyond that, Bhuvneshwar is now uncertain for the Test series as he aggravated his back injury.

After such a crucial situation involving a key player was handled so poorly questions are raised about the Indian team’s physio Patrick Farhart and physical trainer Shankar Basu who were the men in charge. When the Indian selectors announced the squad for the first three Tests of the series that starts on August 1, Bhuvi wasn’t included in the squad and the BCCI said: “as his condition is being assessed by the BCCI medical team”.

A BCCI official who was baffled with the turn of events and was unhappy with the way head coach Ravi Shastri handled the entire situation. “Please go and ask Ravi Shastri that question,” the official was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

“The moment we are saying he has aggravated his injury, we are conceding that he wasn’t fully fit. So if he is a vital cog in our Test match scheme of things, why was he risked for an ODI,” the official further questioned.

Patrick and Basu’s role

Bhuvi had troubles with his back during the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well and his franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad opted to preserve him. He was rested for five matches as the team managed to make it all the way to the final of the tournament.

On the tour of UK where the Indian team has already played a two-match T20I series against Ireland, three T20Is and as many ODIs against England he played just the first T20I against Ireland. The team physio certainly failed to assess his fitness and gave a clearance for him to be included in the XI. It will cost the team in the Test series where Bhuvneshwar had a bigger role to play given his experience and game that fits the English conditions best.

“If despite being given rest during the third T20 and the first two ODIs, he wasn’t hundred per cent fit, then why was he allowed to play,” the official, in the know of things questioned. “Secondly, did Farhart report before the third ODI that playing him would be risking his injury?”

The Test series gets underway on August 1 and the team still has almost two weeks to work on the pacer’s fitness.

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