Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been ruled out of the three-match ODI series against West Indies due to a groin injury. Shardul Thakur is likely to replace him, although there has been no official statement from the BCCI or the Indian team yet.
It is understood that Bhuvneshwar picked up the injury during the preceding T20I series, which India won 2-1 earlier this week. The nature of the injury remains unknown, but it is believed that it is not related to the hamstring issue that affected Bhuvneshwar during the World Cup earlier this year.
Bharat Arun, the bowling coach gave away nothing on the injury at the press interaction in Chennai (venue for the first ODI on December 15) on Friday, saying a media statement would be issued later after consultation with the team physiotherapist.
It is understood that the selectors, who are awaiting a final word from the Indian team’s medical staff, are likely to name a replacement for Bhuvneshwar.
The development will come as yet another setback for Bhuvneshwar, for whom injuries have become a constant in the recent past. During the World Cup, Bhuvneshwar had to limp out of the marquee contest against Pakistan in Manchester with a hamstring strain after bowling just 2.4 overs. He made a comeback in the semi-finals, but then missed the home series against South Africa and Bangladesh recently because of what the selectors had called a niggle.
Thakur last played an ODI during the Asia Cup last September, following which he played his first – and only – Test against West Indies in October.
If Bhuvneshwar is ruled out, then he will become the second player after Shikhar Dhawan to miss out from the series against West Indies. Dhawan, who hurt his knee during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy recently, was replaced by Sanju Samson for the T20I series, while Mayank Agarwal has taken his place for the ODI series.