Bhuvneshwar Kumar India England
Bhuvneshwar Kumar © Getty Images (file photo)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar will not play a role in at least the first three Tests against England and is scheduled to fly back to India, according to a report in The Times of India. On Wednesday, when India’s 18-man Test squad for the first three matches was announced, the BCCI had stated that Bhuvneshwar had aggravated his back during the Headingley ODI and needed monitoring by the board’s medical staff.

“His condition is being assessed by the BCCI medical team and a call on his inclusion in the Test squad will be made soon,” said the BCCI in a media release. According to ToI, however, Bhuvneshwar is due to return to India and that his return could happen for the final two Tests.

Bhuvneshwar has played only two Tests this year, both in South Africa, taking 10 wickets at 20.30. He contributed with bat as well, for his 101 runs at 33.67 — a series where he outshone every Indian batsman barring Virat Kohli. He was shaping to be the leader of India’s pace attack in the five-Test series starting August 1 at Edgbaston, followed by Tests at Lord’s from August 9, at Trent Bridge from August 19, at Rose Bowl, Southampton from August 30 and lastly at The Oval from September 7.