ICC Men'sT20 World Cup 2022: Numbers show Jasprit Bumrah’s absence hurts rest of India’s bowlers’ figures. BCCI confirm Mohammed Shami as Jasprit Bumrah's replacement in T20 World Cup squad.
Since the day when news of India’s premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah being officially ruled out of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 was declared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), India captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid put in immense thought to find a credible replacement for India’s best bowler.
The Gujarat pacer who missed Asia Cup 2022 in August and the lion’s share of the home T20I series against Australia and South Africa in September-October, will miss the upcoming T20 World Cup because of a back injury.
Mohammed Shami replaces Bumrah in World Cup Squad
In a recent development, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday announced the name of Mohammed Shami as the replacement for Jasprit Bumrah. As per reports, Shami has reached Australia and will join the team ahead of India’s two warm up fixtures scheduled to be held in Brisbane against Australia and New Zealand on October 17 and 19 respectively. BCCI had recently announced the names of Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur as reserves for the mega competition.
Unique and special Bumrah makes other bowlers ten feet taller
No matter for whichever side he plays for, Jasprit Bumrah is so unique and what he does is so special. A yorker even after number of decades in the game of cricket is the best ball in all forms of the game, especially in its shortest format.
In the third T20I in Indore, South Africa blasted their way to 227 for the loss of three wickets in their 20 overs; although it was on one of the flattest wickets on a smallish ground. However, Proteas scored just at 7.33 per over that evening when India’s fast bowlers executed their yorkers perfectly.
Undoubtedly, Bumrah’s yorkers are the best in the game but even if he misses it and fires a full toss, still it remains hard for the batters to score off. Since the start of 2021, among bowlers who have bowled minimum 30 full tosses in T20s in this period, Jasprit Bumrah has the best economy of 7.94, while Anrich Nortje sits at a distant second with an economy rate of 9.64.
No wonder that every Indian bowler has benefitted from the presence of Bumrah. There is a significant change in economy rates for bowlers who have played at least 10 T20Is alongside Bumrah and at least same number of games without Bumrah since 2016.
Bumrah’s bowling partner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has an economy rate of 6.85 in T20Is playing with Bumrah, while the rate goes up to 7.25 when Bumrah is not part of the team. In case of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal too, the economy rate of 7.96 with Bumrah, increases to 8.23 without the ace pacer. Probably, Ravichandran Ashwin has struggled most in the absence of Bumrah; the off-spinner’s economy rate of 6.12 playing with Bumrah rises up to 6.81 when Bumrah remains out of the Indian team.
Eco with Bumrah
Eco without Bumrah
T20I economy rates of other India bowlers with/without Bumrah in the bowling attack (Source: ESPNcricinfo)
Not only the economy but the average too of the other bowlers takes a toll in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah. Ravichandran Ashwin again struggles the most. The fourth-highest wicket-taker for India in T20Is has an average of 15 in the presence of Bumrah while in his absence, the average races up to 37.50. Ravindra Jadeja’s average of 22 playing with Bumrah, rises to 37.71 when Bumrah is not around.
Average with Bumrah
Average without Bumrah
Bowling averages for India’s bowlers in T20Is with/without Bumrah in the attack (Source: ESPNcricinfo)
Bumrah and his ability to bowl in all phases
The value of Jasprit Bumrah in the shortest format of the game is immense; whether bowling in the powerplay or in the middle overs or in the death overs, Bumrah is a genuine all condition bowler in T20 cricket. He has the best economy rate amongst all of India’s fast bowlers in every phase since the start of 2020 in T20Is.
Phase-wise economy rates in T20Is since January 1, 2020 (Source: ESPNcricinfo)
However, playing without Bumrah is nothing new for India of late. Due to his injuries and workload management, he has played just 60 T20Is out of 128 India games since his debut while since the start of 2020, Bumrah has played just 18 of India’s 59 T20Is. Since the beginning of the year 2020, India have won 27 games and lost 13 when Bumrah hasn’t been available while in Bumrah’s presence, they have won 13 and lost just a couple of games.
“We got what we wanted from the two series”- Rahul Dravid
After India’s early exit from the Asia Cup 2022 with their back-to-back defeats against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, they beat Australia by a 2-1 margin in a three-match T20I series before earning their maiden T20I series victory at home by the same margin against the Proteas.
“Giving few people rest means it offers us the chance to rotate the squad and we got what we wanted from the two series,” said India head coach Rahul Dravid to reporters, at the end of the South Africa series. “I think there were some good performances and a few tight games; tough series for the bowlers as it’s always the case in India.”
One of the places where India needs to work hard quickly is bowling in the death overs. In the absence of their star pacer Jasprit Bumrah, all the bowlers from the likes of Arshdeep Singh to Harshal Patel were treated brutally all around the park in the last four to five overs.
“Obviously, you keep trying to get better in all departments; to be honest, those are such flat wickets and it’s not easy to bowl in the death,” Dravid promised that India will try their best to do well in the death overs given it will be really handful if they can cut short those few boundaries on the huge grounds in Australia. “It wasn’t hard only for us but for them too; you know for Australia and South Africa with lots of experience in their bowling attacks, they have too struggled bowling in the death overs.”
Because many of these India players are yet to play T20s in Australia, they have left for Australia early to get used to the conditions and the pace and bounce of the tracks. But the question remains how can India somehow manage to perform well in the absence of injured Bumrah.
India will begin their 2022 T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 23 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne.