Bhuvneshwar has been nursing an ankle injury and was initially ruled out of the first two Tests. Since the injury is unlikely to heal in time for the third Test as well, it was decided to call for Kulkarni.
Kulkarni, who was a part of the last three ODIs at home against Sri Lanka in November, was preferred over the likes of Pankaj Singh and Ishwar Pandey, who were in the squad for the Test series in England earlier this year.
Bhuvneshwar will remain in Australia, and will return to the squad once he is fit. "Bhuvneshwar Kumar will rejoin the Indian team, for the Test series in Australia, as soon as he recovers and is declared fit," the BCCI confirmed in a release.
Earlier, the BCCI decided that it would be better for his recovery if he was monitored by the team's physiotherapists in Australia, instead of returning home for his rehabilitation. A BCCI insider revealed that the team management has been instructed not to rush him back into action since since he will be expected to play a vital role in the upcoming tri-series against Australia and England, as well as in the World Cup.
Kulkarni has played four ODIs for India, debuting during the series in England in September, before the three games against Sri Lanka in which he picked up eight wickets.
Bhuvneshwar, with 19 wickets, finished as India's highest wicket-taker during the five-Test series in England.