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Feature

Timeline - how injuries have kept Bumrah out in the last four years

The Indian quick has had a tough time with his fitness in the recent past

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
30-Sep-2022 • Updated on 03-Oct-2022
Jasprit Bumrah is out of the T20 World Cup in October-November, because of a back injury which came barely two weeks after he was passed fit from a previous one. It's a big blow for India given the fast bowler is one of the first names on their team sheet. This is not the first time India are missing the services of Bumrah - here's a check on the injuries he has suffered in his international career, which is into its seventh year.
When: India tour of Ireland and England in 2018
What: Thumb injury
How: On the opening day of a three-month tour, Bumrah fractured his left thumb while attempting a return catch in a T20I against Ireland. It put him out of action for three weeks, including the white-ball leg of the tour and the first two Tests against England. But he featured in the last three Tests, picking up 14 wickets including a five-for at Trent Bridge in the only Test India won in a 4-1 series loss.
When: India tour of the West Indies in 2019
What: Lower-back stress fracture
How: On the field, he was a force, becoming just the third Indian to pick up a Test hat-trick after Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan. But playing across formats had started taking a toll on his body towards the end of that tour. After returning from the Caribbean, a regular fitness assessment threw light on a back issue. As a result, Bumrah's first outing in a home Test, against South Africa, had to be called off as he was withdrawn from the series as a precaution. Later, scans revealed a lower-back stress fracture that needed treatment, which was conducted in the UK.
Afterwards, he was slated to prove his form and fitness in the Ranji Trophy for Gujarat before making a Test comeback, but he was pulled out with the team management reportedly opting against putting him through the four-day grind. Bumrah was out of action for three months and made a comeback during the tour of New Zealand in early 2020.
When: India tour of Australia in 2020-21
What: Abdominal strain
How: Bumrah picked up an abdominal injury while fielding in the third Test in Sydney in January 2021. After a few days of uncertainty over whether he would play the final Test in Brisbane or not, he was ruled out, with the BCCI saying that the decision was a precautionary one. India, with many of their first-choice players missing for one reason or another, pulled off a remarkable win at the Gabba to clinch the series. And Bumrah was in action when India played next, in a Test against England in Chennai just under three weeks later.
When: August 2022
What: Back injury
How: Initially diagnosed as back spasms, Bumrah was left out of the Asia Cup squad to undergo conditioning at Bengaluru's National Cricket Academy. After four weeks of rehab, he was deemed fit and was included in India's T20I squad for the home series against Australia and South Africa, as well as the 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup. He missed the first game against Australia, but returned for the next two, before missing the opening game against South Africa following a "niggle", which was how Rohit Sharma put it. A BCCI statement after the toss said Bumrah had experienced "back pain" during India's practice session on the pre-match day. A day later, Bumrah was rushed to Bengaluru for fresh scans and was subsequently ruled out of the rest of the series, and ultimately the T20 World Cup in Australia.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo