Ajay Jadeja reckons that India should not play Jasprit Bumrah in the upcoming second T20I of their series against South Africa on Sunday (October 2) given he has been having issues with his back.
Speaking on Cricbuzz, he pointed out that the speedster will play a big role for the Men in Blue at the all-important T20 World Cup 2022. He opined that the Indian team management should give him more rest ahead of the showpiece event if there are any injury concerns.
The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted that Bumrah had been rested for several T20I series earlier this year as part of his workload management. He added that Rohit Sharma and Co. can do the same for the upcoming games as well to ensure that he regains his full fitness for the T20 World Cup.
"He is a key member of your side and you would want to hold him back. Even if he doesn't get many games, you want to ensure that he doesn't get injured. It's his back that is troubling him again.
"If he needs the rest, then give him a little longer. He's played two or three games since the last T20 World Cup. If you were okay with him resting for that long, you should make sure that he rests a little more."
Bumrah had to be on the sidelines for a few months with a back injury. The Gujarat pacer made his return in the recently concluded T20I series against Australia.
He was expected to feature in the T20I series opener against South Africa on Wednesday, September 28. However, he was ruled out due to back pain.
"He can bowl at any stage" - Ajay Jadeja on Arshdeep Singh's performance in first T20I between India and South Africa
Arshdeep Singh rattled South Africa's top order with his sensational new ball spell in the first T20I, picking up three wickets in the powerplay overs. He made the most of the bowler-friendly wicket, hitting the right lengths and also swinging the ball both ways.
Speaking of his place in the Indian playing XI, Jadeja stated that while Harshal Patel is a better pick for death overs, Arshdeep emerges as a more complete option. He stated that the youngster has the skills to make an impact in any given juncture of the match.
"Harshal Patel wins the battle at the end for the slog overs. But Arshdeep is a better bowler because he can bowl the first over, the 10th over, or the 20th over. He can bowl at any stage. He is just growing in confidence and if he can swing the new ball like that, it's more of a competition with Bhuvneshwar Kumar than Harshal."
Jadeja emphasized that Arshdeep was one of the key architects of India's victory over the visitors, taking early wickets. He also completed a fine catch to dent South Africa's chances of registering an impressive total.
"The game was set up and won by him. Not just with his bowling, he aided with that catch as well where Deepak Chahar got a wicket off a rank long hop which should have been hit anywhere. By the time he took that catch and finished his first spell, India were in the driver's seat."
India chased down South Africa's target of 107 in the 17th over with eight wickets to spare. With this win, Rohit Sharma and Co. have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series.