India has picked three standby players for the ICC World Test Championship final against Australia at The Oval, one of whom is emerging fast bowler Mukesh Kumar. Mukesh Kumar, who represents Bengal in domestic cricket, had previously been a member of India’s squads but has yet to make his national team debut. The pacer, who received his first national call-up in October last year for the home ODIs against South Africa, has long been Bengal’s attack leader in bowling, as per ICC.
Mukesh, who made his first-class debut in 2015, has 149 red-ball wickets at an average of 21.55, including six five-wicket hauls. On his first-class debut, Mukesh removed Virender Sehwag and grabbed four wickets.
He rose to prominence during the 2019/20 Ranji Trophy season, taking 32 wickets in 10 matches, notably a six-wicket haul against Karnataka in the semi-finals, which helped Bengal reach the final. (WTC Finals: Ishan Kishan Named As KL Rahul’s Replacement, Check Full Squad Here)
Mukesh dismissed KL Rahul in the first innings, as well as Manish Pandey (both innings) and Devdutt Padikkal, concluding the match with eight wickets. He was called up to the India A team in September 2022 for the unofficial Tests against New Zealand A and concluded the series as the joint-highest wicket-taker with nine scalps, including a five-wicket haul in the first bogus Test.
In December of the same year, he bowled six wickets for India A against Bangladesh in Sylhet. Later that month, the pacer came away from the IPL 2023 auctions with a big INR 5.5 crore deal, with Delhi Capitals gaining his services. In the current IPL season, the speedster has played eight games taking six wickets.
Along with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Suryakumar Yadav, he is on the standby list for the World Test Championship final team. However, with rising concerns about the injuries to quicks Jaydev Unadkat and Umesh Yadav, who are being followed by the BCCI medical team, Mukesh might yet be included to the main squad for the big game next month.