After Bhuvneshwar Kumar's injury concerns, pacer Navdeep Saini has arrived in Manchester as a net bowler and will train with the Indian Cricket Team. At the same time, the 26-year-old is also seen as a possible replacement later in case Bhuvi does not recover in time.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was forced to go off the field in the fourth over of the Pakistan innings and he also could not take any further part in the contest. Kumar had landed awkwardly while bowling the fifth delivery of the over to Imam-ul-Haq. India overcame their arch-rivals Pakistan by 89 runs (DLS method). By the virtue of the win, the Men In Blue continued their unbeaten run against Pakistan in World Cups. The two-time World Champions have now won all their seven games against the 1992 winners in the showpiece event.
Meanwhile, Bhuvi's absence gave Mohammed Shami an opportunity to showcase his potential and he made the most of the opportunity against Afghanistan with figures of 4/40 in his 9.5 overs on Saturday.
The speedster castled opener Hazratullah Zazai in his first spell where he conceded just 8 runs in 4 overs. Shami also returned for a fine spell in the death overs when Mohammad Nabi threatened to win it for the Afghans. Not just did the pacer dismiss the dangerous all-rounder, he also clean bowled the next two tail-enders on the following deliveries to complete a famous hat-trick. He also became only the 10th bowler to bag a hat-trick in World Cups, and only the second Indian, 32 years after Chetan Sharma’s feat against New Zealand in the 1987 edition.
Coming back to Navdeep Saini, he had played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2019 IPL, is now the only net bowler with the Men in Blue and he will train with them, the BCCI said.
Deepak Chahar and Avesh Khan, the reserve bowlers, returned to India in the first week of June, while Khaleel Ahmed remained with the team. However, now with the departure of Khaleel, the Indian team has no net bowler.
The call-up of Navdeep can probably lead to him being the stand-by for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who suffered tightness in his left hamstring and walked off the field during the clash with Pakistan and subsequently missed the match against Afghanistan.
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There is no confirmation from BCCI. However, if Bhuvneshwar fails to come for the net session on Tuesday or there is an issue with his recovery, then the management may take a call. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are the two seam options for India.
India sit at the third place in the World Cup standings with nine points from five matches. The team won four games with one getting washed out.
(With ANI Inputs)