The ODI series between India and Sri Lanka was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but it now seems that star bowler Jasprit Bumrah may have to wait a little bit longer before making his long-awaited return to international cricket. Bumrah was abruptly removed from India’s team on Monday by the BCCI, indicating that he may not yet have fully recovered. According to the BCCI, Bumrah, who has been out since September of last year owing to a back ailment, “would require some more time to develop bowling resistance.” Bumrah’s ailment was not further discussed by the board, which makes the India pacer’s comeback more intriguing. When is he due back? Is the next New Zealand series… or the Border-Gavaskar Trophy? Time will only tell.

Having said that, it is evident from Bumrah’s back-and-forth treatment by the BCCI that he is not yet totally fit. Irfan Pathan, a former all-rounder for India, maybe a little uneasy about Bumrah’s future for this reason. Pathan, a part of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning Indian side, was unable to stop praising Bumrah for his significance and worth to the present Indian team. However, Pathan does not want the top pacer to return right away if doing so may put him back on the sidelines.

“I hope that Jasprit Bumrah’s injury will not affect his bowling since I am quite sceptical of his recovery. But given that a player like Bumrah is crucial to the Indian squad, I hope that he is healthy if not more than 100 per cent fit “He mentioned that during the Star Sports programme “Follow the Blues.”

Given what Bumrah brings to the table and the fact that he is one of just three Test players in India to record a hat-trick, Pathan believes Bumrah’s health is essential for India. Pathan urges the management to treat Bumrah, perhaps India’s finest all-formats bowler, with care since 2023 looks to be another crucial year for India with the World Cup, Asia Cup, and very potentially the World Test Championship final awaiting.

“Finding a player of his calibre is very difficult, so managing him and ensuring that he manages his body and maintains his fitness levels as well as keeping his mind on recovering from his stress injury and undergoing rehabilitation, as well as to continue to grow and move forward as a cricketer, is of vital importance not only to Bumrah but for the team management as well,” added India’s second hat-trick winner.