Speedsters Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah's workload is expected to be a topic of discussion when the national selection committee headed by MSK Prasad meets this weekend to decide on the Indian squad for the Tri-Nation T20 meet in Sri Lanka next month from March 6-18. Team India, who are currently on Proteas soil, will travel next for a six-match Tri-nation T20I series between India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Virat Kohli has also played all the matches in South Africa but his case will be slightly different from others as a decision on resting him will depend on the skipper himself.
"If Virat wants rest, he will get it. In Virat's case, it's he who decides on whether he would like to opt out or not. But you never know he might just want to play the T20 series as this is the last tourney of the season. Once the tournament is over, he will get a fortnight off before the Indian Premier League," a top BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
When the chairman of selectors Prasad was asked by PTI on this matter, he refused to comment. But it is understood that fast bowling unit's composition will be a topic of discussion as and when the selection meeting is held.
However, Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, who have been India's star performers across formats, are likely to get a much-needed rest ahead of the long season that starts with the Indian Premier League.
Bhuvneshwar has bowled around 100 overs including the Test and ODI series. If he bowls his full quota in T20 Internationals, he will end up with 112 overs under his belt. But no one would have bowled more than Bumrah, who is one of the three players (apart from Kohli and Hardik Pandya) to have played all the matches in the tour so far. If Bumrah also bowls his full quota of overs in the three T20Is, he would have bowled more than 166 overs, which is a plethora of overs in international cricket.
With India set to play 63 international games including 30 ODIs in the coming season, a fit Bumrah is a priority for both the selectors and the team management. In case, Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar are rested, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat are expected to shoulder the responsibilities of the new ball. Kerala's yorker specialist Basil Thampi was in the reserves during the home T20 series against Sri Lanka and might just make a comeback in case either Bhuvneshwar or Bumrah or both are rested.