How the Indian team management did the right thing by resting Bumrah
Now that the Test series is over, India's focus shifts on the preparation for the World Cup 2019. Amidst all, one man shone in the Border-Gavaskar trophy, it was Jasprit Bumrah. The tiny little run-up, the jump during the run and the awkward bowling action was pleasing to the eye for the viewers, not so for the batsmen. He ripped apart the batting line-up and ended the series on a high.
Bumrah's workload has been tremendous in this series as he has a total of 157.1 overs in the four matches. He also played in the T20 series. He has picked 21 wickets at an average of 17 which is an astonishing figure. With about 4 months remaining for the World Cup, this decision may prove to be tactically correct. Let's justify that by giving more insights into this:
Bumrah is injury prone and an injury in this ODI series may prove to be very costly for the team management. If he gets injured and has to undergo any surgery, four months time may not be enough to make a comeback. No team wants their premier fast bowler getting injured before the World Cup. Also, Bumrah suffered an injury to his left thumb during India’s first T20I against Ireland in Dublin and was subsequently ruled out of the ongoing series against England. The selectors have kept in mind the previous track record too and have taken the right decision.
The conditions are completely different in Australia. The flat tracks make batting very easy and the bowlers have to sweat it out, unlike England, where the World Cup will be played. High run chases are always the norm here and playing him there might not make any sense, as he might encounter fatigue, and might not gain much from playing in Australian conditions.
Learning to live without Bumrah. Bumrah is now leading the attack in limited overs format for India. No doubt he is a vital cog in the Indian team, but India must learn to have a bowling attack without Bumrah. Bumrah is a very difficult player to replace but that is what champion teams are made off. They must have replacements rather than relying on a single person.
Plenty of opportunities. With Bumrah being rested, Mohammed Siraj has been included in the ODI squad. This will give the youngster some match time and also selection issues for the team management if he performs well. Kohli knows him well as they both have played for RCB and he may try out different bowling combinations with him.
Also, Siddarth Kaul will join the side for the three T20Is in New Zealand, so plenty of options for Kohli to choose from (Shami, Siraj, Khaleel, Bhuvi, Pandya, Chahal, Kuldeep, Kedhar).
Letting Bhuvaneshwar Kumar take responsibility. Bhuvi has not been in the best of form, of late. In this series, the onus is on him to perform as a senior bowler. He must lead the attack in Bumrah's absence and show the fans what he has got.
He wasn't preferred for the Test series either and was warming the benches. He must step up and show his true potential as his performance is very important for India to win the World Cup.