ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022: After Jadeja’s omission, Jasprit Bumrah may also be ruled out due to injury from T20 World Cup 2022. Official announcement yet to come.
With under three weeks to go for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 which is all set to take place in Australia from October 16, India have been hammered by a huge blow before the start of their campaign, with the back injury of Jasprit Bumrah that could rule him out of the whole competition.
Jasprit Bumrah missed the recent Asia Cup 2022 in August and September with the same injury but was then selected for the home three-match T20I series against Australia and South Africa. The pacer played the second and third T20Is against Australia and registered figures of 1/23 and 0/50 before missing the first T20I game against the Proteas because of back pain.
India’s T20 World Cup 2022 Squad
Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-Captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh
Standby Players: Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar
Jasprit Bumrah in doubt for the T20 World Cup
It is understood that Bumrah hasn’t travelled with the Indian team to Guwahati for the second T20I game against South Africa which will be played on October 2, but has travelled to Bengaluru to report at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to further work on his fitness.
“Jasprit Bumrah complained of back pain during India’s practice session on Tuesday,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Twitter after toss during the first T20I against South Africa. “The medical team assessed him. He is ruled out of the first #INDvsSA T20I”.
The physio and the medical team are doing everything to make him available for the World Cup but hope is getting thinner with every passing hour. According to few reports, the NCA staff has spoken that if the detected injury is serious, then Bumrah could be out of action for more than six weeks. Normally, a back injury of that nature requires at least four weeks to heal but India don’t have the luxury of time in their hand.
“Bumrah is not going to play the World T20 for sure. He has a serious back condition. It’s a stress fracture and he could be out for a period of six months,” a senior BCCI official expressed concern to PTI, with Bumrah joining Ravindra Jadeja in the injury list to be ruled out of the World Cup.
“Losing Bumrah and Jadeja will be huge for India; we didn’t expect that things will pan out as they have. He was rested for the Asia Cup precisely to manage his workload management. Now it remains a question if he was even fit enough to play the Australia series.”
Unavailability of Bumrah makes death over bowling a huge concern
Without a shadow of doubt, the news comes as a huge blow for India’s World Cup hopes; the men in blue are without a global trophy since lifting the ICC Champions Trophy back in 2013 and Bumrah’s skill of bowling in all the phases of an innings was expected to play a key part in this T20 World Cup. His absence will force the think tank to work out a quality replacement for India’s premier pacer.
But one of the main aspects that is going to hurt India in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah will be bowling in the death overs. In their vital games against Sri Lanka and Pakistan during the recently concluded Asia Cup, India leaked too many runs in the last four to five overs.
In their must win game against Sri Lanka, India leaked 54 runs without taking any wicket in the last 29 balls; 14 runs came from the 19th over bowled by veteran bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Even in the game against Pakistan, they offered 43 runs in the last 29 balls and again it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who was thrown around the park for 19 runs in the 19th over.
The home series against Australia saw the same sort of issues. During the first T20I against the Aussies in Mohali, the visitors required 55 runs in the last four overs, chasing a huge total of 209. The next three overs were nailed for 15, 22 and 16 runs bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and death over specialist Harshal Patel as Australia grabbed an easy win with four balls to spare.
In the second shortened eight-over T20I affair against the same opponent in Nagpur, Australia piled up 44 runs in the last three overs while the third and final T20I of the series in Hyderabad saw the men from down under collect 46 runs in the last three overs. This issue was expected to ease out slightly in the presence of Jasprit Bumrah, but his absence in the big tournament will clearly exacerbate India’s deep weakness in that section.
Siraj, Shami, Krishna in line to replace Bumrah in the World Cup squad
Now with the injury sustained by Jasprit Bumrah, India will look to slot a replacement in the World Cup squad. But are there good enough options to replace Bumrah in the squad?
Most probably, Mohammed Shami who is in the reserves will come in the main squad. Shami is currently out of the home T20I series due to Covid infection. When India’s squad was announced almost three weeks ago, few eyebrows were raised about Shami’s omission from the main squad; the pacer in the last couple of Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons has been splendid with the ball in different phases. In IPL 2022, he picked up 20 wickets in 16 games at an economy of 8 for Gujarat Titans (GT) while in IPL 2021, Shami deposited 19 wickets at an economy of just 7.50 with an average of just 20.78 for the Punjab Kings (PBKS).
But still with a replacement to be named, it is high likely that Mohammed Siraj who has been roped in for the remainder of the home South Africa series will take the slot. Siraj has been excellent for India in the recent few Test series and in England’s county games playing for Warwickshire but his T20 record is not good enough to be sure about his place.
Siraj who was part of a T20I game in February, has just five wickets to his name in five games at an economy of 10.45. Even in the IPL, playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), he hasn’t had a great record as in 65 games; Siraj has an economy of 8.78, taking just 59 wickets. In IPL 2022, Siraj had an economy of 10.08 in 15 games picking up just nine wickets. However, the skiddy nature of Siraj is expected to make life difficult for the batters on those bouncy pitches of Australia.
Another player who could find a place is Prasidh Krishna who has done well in the IPL playing for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in 2022. In IPL 2022, Krishna recorded 19 wickets in 17 games with an economy of 8.29. The tall and young fast bowler has done a great job playing for India A too and he might be used on those bouncy tracks of Australia.
With the recent record of Avesh Khan, it’s high unlikely that he will get the ticket to Australia while the selection of Mohammed Siraj for the last two T20I games against South Africa has powered his chances to be a part of the T20 World Cup squad.
India will play the second T20I of the ongoing three-match series against South Africa on October 2 at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. They will begin their World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 23 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne.