Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 29 January 2020

Bhuvneshwar Kumar injury latest setback to India pace attack as West Indies target ODI upset

Virat Kohli's team also without opener Shikhar Dhawan for three-match series that starts on Sunday

The Indian team suffered a late injury blow before the start of the ODI series against the West Indies with seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar ruled out due to a groin injury.

Bhuvneshwar complained of pain in the groin during the third and final T20 against the Windies in Mumbai. The Indian cricket board announced that "an ultrasound scan conducted by a specialist and the BCCI medical team found that his hernia symptoms have resurfaced".

Fast bowler Shardul Thakur was named as his replacement for the three-match series which begins in Chennai on Sunday.

Bhuvneshwar's latest injury will be a concern for captain Virat Kohli and the team management. He battled a lower back injury for almost the entire 2018 season and walked out of the World Cup match against Pakistan earlier this year due to a hamstring strain.

The Indian team is now without three frontline seam-bowling options. Pace ace Jasprit Bumrah is fighting his way back to fitness after a lower back stress fracture. All-rounder Hardik Pandya is recovering from back surgery and there is no certainty as to when both these player will be available.

Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar and Pandya are important members of the Indian team and their absence is putting a strain on the squad. India has a crucial tour of New Zealand coming up in January and the growing list of injuries will have them worried.

The more immediate concern for them will be the West Indies ODI series. The Caribbean side showed great fight during the preceding T20 clash which they lost 2-1.

West Indies batsmen blasted the Indian bowling attack in the first two matches, which will give them confidence going into the ODI series.

Also, India will be without experienced opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has been ruled out due to knee injury with Test opener Mayank Agarwal named as his replacement. With so much going on in the Indian contingent, Kieron Pollard's team will fancy their chances.

The second ODI will be played on December 18 in Visakhapatnam followed by the final match on December 22 in Cuttack.

Updated: December 14, 2019 03:10 PM

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