Star Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj has returned home from the West Indies after being rested for the ODI series in the Caribbean. He was expected to lead the Indian pace attack in the absence of Mohammed Shami, who was also rested, but the decision was taken to manage his workload effectively. Siraj had played in both Tests of the series against West Indies and had an impressive performance, including a five-for in the second Test in Trinidad.
The decision to rest Siraj might be aimed at keeping him fresh and fit for India’s upcoming future assignments, including the Asia Cup that begins on August 30. The Asia Cup is significant for India’s preparations for the ODI World Cup, scheduled for October-November. Siraj has been an integral part of India’s white-ball setup and has played in all ODIs for India since the start of the year, including series against Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Australia.
Jasprit Bumrah, another key pacer for India, has been out of action since September of the previous year due to injury. Although the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) revealed that Bumrah is regaining fitness and will participate in practice matches at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, his exact date of return remains uncertain.
India is also scheduled to play a three-match bilateral series against Australia after the Asia Cup, which will further serve as crucial preparation for the home World Cup. With major tournaments like the ODI World Cup approaching, it is essential for the team to manage the workload and fitness of its key players like Siraj and Bumrah to have a competitive edge in these tournaments. The decision to rest Siraj for the ODI series seems to be in line with this strategy.
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