Navdeep Saini was named as one of the stand-by players when the Indian selectors had announced the 15-member squad for the World Cup. @AFP

Even as the Indian team management is yet to provide a fresh update on Bhuvneshwar Kumar‘s hamstring niggle — suffered during the game against Pakistan — Navdeep Saini flew in on Monday to join the Indian team in Manchester.

The timing of the arrival combined with the pacer’s injury has raised quite a few eyebrows, but the Indian team has made it clear that he has joined the camp only as a net bowler.

Interestingly, Saini was named as one of the stand-by players when the Indian selectors had announced the 15-member squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

The BCCI sent out an official message saying: “Navdeep Saini has arrived in Manchester. Navdeep is the only net bowler here and he will train with the Indian cricket team.”

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Speaking to IANS, sources in the know of developments said that Saini didn’t come to England as a cover like Rishabh Pant. “He has joined as a net bowler and not as anybody’s cover like Pant had come in as cover for Shikhar Dhawan.”

After the game against Pakistan, skipper Virat Kohli had said: “Slight niggle for Bhuvi, he slipped on one of the footmarks. He’s out for two — maybe three — games, but he should come back for us at some stage during this tournament. He is very important for us.”

The team management had said that Bhuvneshwar would take around eight days to start bowling again post the injury sustained on June 16.

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While Monday was the eighth day, the Indian team didn’t train. With India’s next game against the West Indies on Thursday, the team should ideally train on Tuesday and it will be interesting to see if Bhuvneshwar restricts himself to only working with physio Patrick Farhart or if he does mark his run-up and has a bowl at the nets.