Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has expressed his surprise after the All India Selection Panel Committee didn’t select Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 20-men jumbo squad for the ICC World Test Championship final squad and the five-match Test series against England. Kumar has the skills to move the ball both ways and he could have been lethal in the English conditions.

However, Kumar has been hampered by a spate of injuries in the recent past and hasn’t played consistently. The swing fast bowler recently made a comeback to international cricket in the limited-overs series against England and bowled at the top of his game. But he was once again hot and cold in the IPL and also missed a couple of matches due to thigh injury.

In fact, Kumar last played a Test match back in January 2018 against South Africa and since then he has been on the sidelines due to injuries and lack of game time.

“Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s name not being there is a little surprising from my point of view. It is possible he might not have gotten fit till the WTC final or you may not have wanted to take a chance with him,” said Chopra.

Chopra feels Bhuvneshwar Kumar could have been included in the Test squad for the five-match series against England, if not for the World Test Championship final.

“But if there are five Test matches in England and you have a bowler like Bhuvi bowling at his peak, you can surely play him two or three of the five-Test matches. That’s what I would be thinking that if I get a bowler like Bhuvi in those conditions, he is an asset,” added Chopra.

The five-match Test series against England will begin in August and thus Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a lot of time to recover from his injury and be available for the big series.

“But his name is not there for a series that starts in August and ends in September, there are five Test matches. When we talk about the huge squads, if he is fit, then why not Bhuvneshwar Kumar. You might also be thinking the same,” concluded Chopra.

The WTC final against New Zealand begins June 18 at Southampton.