Fit-again Jasprit Bumrah hits the nets at Guwahati
After bowling every delivery, Bumrah was seen engaged in a discussions with the team think-tank as he continued the exercise for about 45 minutes
Guwahati: Jasprit Bumrah started off from where he had left before being laid low by stress fracture as he bowled flat out at the India nets ahead of their first T20 International against Sri Lanka on Sunday. Closely monitored by team's support headed by Ravi Shastri, Bumrah hit the straps straightway, bowling with pace on a breezy winter evening even as the Sri Lankan team decided to take rest for the day. Bumrah was seen mixing up his deliveries as there were yorkers, variety of bouncers, bowling in tandem with Shardul Thakur and Shivam Dube. He also did the single stump practice to get his channel right.
After bowling every delivery, Bumrah was seen engaged in a discussions with the team think-tank as he continued the exercise for about 45 minutes. The Indian fielding session was mainly about taking high catches with the likes of Kohli, Bumrah, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer taking turns under lights to get into the groove. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were not seen during India's optional practice.
Having missed competitive cricket for more than three months due to his lower back injury, the three-T20I series will mark the return of Bumrah in the New Year after achieving a some high points in a phenomenal 2019. From three Tests in 2019, Bumrah picked 14 wickets at an average of 13.14 including two five-wicket hauls -- both against the West Indies in North Sound and Kingston, becoming the only Asian bowler in history to bag five-fors in South Africa, England, Australia and West Indies. He also had 25 wickets in 14 ODIs during the year.
At the Sabina Park, Bumrah became only the third Indian bowler after Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan to record a hat-trick in the longest format. There's a rain forecast for the remaining two days but the Assam Cricket Association officials are confident of hosting the match. "It's a T20 fixture and even if it rains in the morning, it will dry out by evening. Today also it rained in the morning but practice was not affected," ACA secretary Devajit Saikia said.
According to the local curator, there could be some dew towards the evening as the pitch wore a tinge of grass and was closely inspected by Shastri and bowling coach Bharath Arun. The stadium has hosted two International matches, the last being an ODI on October 21, 2018 with India hunting down West Indies' 323 with eight wickets intact in a matter of 42.1 overs.
In the solitary T20I here on October 10, 2017, India had lost to Australia by eight wickets in a low-scoring fixture that later made headlines with the team bus attacked by an angry mob on their return to the hotel.
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