December 30, 2019 / 5:51 AM / 22 days ago

World Cup thoughts can wait, need to be injury-free first: Bhuvneshwar Kumar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, dogged by injury, said he was not yet thinking about next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia and that his main target was to get fit first.

Cricket - England v India - Third One Day International - Emerald Headingley, Headingley, Britain - July 17, 2018 India's Bhuvneshwar Kumar Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes/File Photo

The right-arm bowler has been laid low by sports hernia, the latest in a series of injuries, which kept him out of the recent one-day series against West Indies.

The 29-year-old suffered hamstring strain during the 50-overs World Cup in England earlier this year and missed the home series against South Africa and Bangladesh with niggles.

Kumar will consult a doctor abroad next week before deciding whether to undergo surgery.

“Right now, I don’t know when I will be able to make a comeback. It could be one day, one week, or one month. It all depends on the diagnosis and treatment plan,” Kumar told Times of India newspaper.

“I want to play cricket. Right now I’m completely off it. I’m just waiting to get back to the game. It could be frustrating at times.”

Prized for his ability to move the ball, his absence has coincided with the rise of Deepak Chahar whose new-ball skills have drawn comparison with Kumar.

Both the Uttar Pradesh bowlers would be eyeing a place in India’s squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia though Kumar said he was more focused on getting fit again.

“I am not thinking of the World Cup yet. I just wish I would be injury-free for the World Cup.”

“My first target is to get fit. But once I return to the game, I will start planning for the World Cup.”

Beginning on Jan. 5, India will play a Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka followed by three one-day internationals against Australia - both at home — before embarking on a tour of New Zealand.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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