Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the India fast bowler, has been ruled out of their three-match ODI series against West Indies with a groin injury. Shardul Thakur, the right-arm pacer, has been called up as his replacement.
Kumar, 29, picked up the injury during the final T20I against West Indies in Mumbai on Wednesday, 11 December. Injuries have kept him out of the national side for quite a few games in the last few seasons. He was sidelined during the round-robin stage of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 with a hamstring strain, having battled a lower-back issue through most of 2018.
Kumar's unavailability comes as a second blow for India ahead of the ODI series, with opener Shikhar Dhawan also being ruled out due to a knee injury. The right-arm seamer looked in good touch in Mumbai, returning 2/41 in his four-over spell, which included the key wicket of Kieron Pollard.
Kumar was No.4 in appearances for India among bowlers in 2018. However, this year, Kumar is at the top of that list with 28 appearances, which indicates he might have struggled to manage his workload this year.
Thakur, on the other hand, hasn't featured in a single international game this year. In 2018, he made 11 appearances for India, claiming 13 scalps at 30.38. He has been in good form in domestic cricket though, having picked up five wickets in his last three T20 games.
India bagged the T20I series after a dominant performance in the decider in Mumbai, winning by 67 runs. They have a strong ODI record against West Indies at home in recent years, and have won each of their bilateral series since 2007.
The first of three ODIs will be played at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday, 15 December.
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