Seamer Jasprit Bumrah picked up a “minor stress fracture in his lower back. Photo: AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan

JOHANNESBURG – If there was any doubt about what the Proteas would encounter as regards pitches for the three Test series against India, they were dispelled yesterday, following the withdrawal of the hosts’ ace seamer Jasprit Bumrah from their Test squad.

Bumrah picked up, what the Board of Control for Cricket in India, called a “minor stress fracture in his lower back”, and as a result will miss all three Tests against South Africa, the first of which starts in Visakhapatnam on October 2.

It is a major blow for the hosts, but it also means that any temptations there may have been to leave a bit of grass on any of the pitches for those Test matches, will disappear.

Bumrah, along with Mohammed Shami and Ishant Shami formed a potent trio of quicks that allowed India to be more competitive away from home, able to fight fast bowling fire, with quicks of their own.

In 12 Tests Bumrah, who propels the ball with an unusually high, straight-arm action off a short run up, has taken 62 wickets at an average of 19.24. He was instrumental in India’s historic series win in Australia last season, picking up 21 wickets in that four match series.

Earlier in 2018, he proved a huge threat against South Africa too, claiming 14 wickets in a three Test series, which India lost, although their sole win came on dangerously quick track at the Wanderers, where Bumrah starred.

Umesh Yadav, will take Bumrah’s place in the Indian squad.

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The Proteas will play a three-day tour match starting tomorrow against an Indian Board XI, as they begin preparations for a Test series which will also be their first assignment in the newly created ICC World Test championship

* Meanwhile Kohli has received a demerit point and an official warning for an “inappropriate” shoulder contact with South Africa’s left arm seamer Beuran Hendricks while taking a run during the third T20 International on Sunday.

@shockerhess

 

The Star

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