Former cricketer Aakash Chopra feels that Jasprit Bumrah’s injury has exposed Team India’s poor selection for the T20 World Cup to an extent. According to him, the Men in Blue made a mistake by picking only four fast bowlers in their 15-member squad for the ICC event.
India named Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, and Arshdeep Singh as their fast bowlers while announcing their squad for the T20 World Cup 2022. Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar were picked as standbys.
Team India, however, could miss out on Bumrah’s services Down Under due to a back injury, which has ruled him out of the T20Is against South Africa. Analyzing Team India’s woes in the wake of their lead pacer’s fitness issues, Chopra said on his YouTube channel:
“I have always felt that Team India should have picked five bowlers in their squad (for the T20 World Cup). Right now, Bhuvi’s (Bhuvneshwar) confidence is low, while Harshal is also looking to gain confidence, Arshdeep is doing well, but he has only played 12 games, so he is still a kid in the team.”
A PTI report, quoting sources, claimed that Bumrah won't be available for the T20 World Cup. However, head coach Rahul Dravid on Saturday, October 1, stated that, officially, the fast bowler has only been ruled out of the South Africa series.
“Tough call between Shami and Chahar” - Chopra on Bumrah’s likely replacement
Discussing who could replace Bumrah if he is declared unfit for the T20 World Cup, Chopra admitted that it will be a tough choice between Shami and Chahar. The former India opener explained:
“If Bumrah is not available, then India will have to make a tough call between Shami and Chahar. Chahar is better with the new ball and can bat as well, but on some pitches India might need extra pace, which Chahar doesn’t have. Had they chosen five fast bowlers, half of their problem would have been solved.”
Chopra lamented that India are unsure of who could replace Bumrah, even though only a few days are left for the T20 World Cup, which is not a good sign. He concluded:
“It’s very important to know who could be Bumrah’s replacement in the team, but that’s not happening. There are a lot of questions. Shami is at the NCA. Mohammed Siraj has been picked, but should he play in Guwahati? If yes, then whom should he replace? And if he doesn’t play, how can the team figure out if he can be Bumrah’s replacement?”
Mohammed Siraj, who is not part of India’s T20 World Cup squad, was named as Bumrah’s replacement for the remaining two T20Is against South Africa. The second T20I of the series will be played in Guwahati on Sunday, October 2.