New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: The 20-member Indian team that would tour England for five-match Test series and the final of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Test Championship was announced by the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) on May 7. Surprisingly, medium-pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was not picked up in the team.

Kumar, who made his comeback in international cricket against England earlier this year, would have been the perfect arsenal to carry along in the English condition. However, his exclusion from the squad surprised several fans and cricket pundits in the country.

However, a Times of India report has now claimed that the 31-year-old "does not want to play Test cricket" anymore and wants to focus on shorter formats of the game. The report, quoting sources, claimed that Kumar does not have the "drive" to play the longest format of the game.

"To be honest, the selectors don’t even see Bhuvi hungry for 10 overs, forget Test cricket. It’s Team India’s loss no doubt because if one bowler should have made it to England, it should have been him," The Times of India quoted sources as saying.

However, the cricketer has dismissed the media report saying he wants to continue playing Test cricket. He tweeted, "There have been articles about me not wanting to play Test cricket. Just to clarify, I have always prepared myself for all three formats irrespective of the team selection and will continue to do the same. Suggestion - please don’t write your assumptions based on “sources”!" 

Kumar, who can swing the ball both ways, also has a decent record in England. In 2014, the 31-year-old had claimed 19 wickets from five Tests, including a couple of fifers, as he emerged as the "Sultan of Swing" for the Indian team.

However, since then, Kumar has been in and out of the Test team, mainly due to consistent injuries. He had last played a Test against South Africa at Johannesburg back in 2018. He was then given the Man-of-the-Match as India won that Test by 63 runs.

India's squad for England Test series and WTC final:

Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma