It was reported that Jasprit Bumrah would be ruled out of the upcoming T20 World Cup due to a back stress fracture. The news was a major blow for India's campaign, with the leader of their bowling attack expected to miss out.
However, there hasn't been an official announcement of the news yet. BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly only added fuel to the fire on Friday (September 30), when he stated that the fast bowler is still not ruled out of the T20 World Cup.
"Jasprit Bumrah is still not ruled out of the T20 World Cup yet. The World Cup is still quite some time away. Let's not jump the gun."
While there is plenty of speculation around Bumrah's fitness, he has been officially ruled out of the ongoing series against South Africa. Mohammed Siraj has replaced him in the squad.
There might be a glimmer of hope about the fast bowler's return to the side, but is it worth it? We take a look at three reasons why India should not risk Jasprit Bumrah for the T20 World Cup:
#1 They might aggravate the injury
Bumrah has not officially been ruled out of the T20 World Cup yet, but reports suggest that the fast bowler suffered a serious back stress fracture. If that is the case, the team management will want to proceed with caution.
Back stress fractures are pretty common for fast bowlers but can potentially worsen over time if not handled properly. They do take a frustratingly long time to recover, with rest being a crucial aspect of the recovery process.
The last thing India will want to do is make a short-sighted decision and risk further aggravation to the injury to one of their premium fast bowlers and Test vice-captain.
#2 There is enough to fight for in other formats
India have plenty to fight for in the upcoming year or so. The team will be in the hunt for the World Test Championship finals and would want their Test vice-captain to be fit for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Not only that, there is also a 50-over World Cup lined up next year. The team will not want to go into that tournament without the bowler who spearheads their bowling attack. Needless to say, Bumrah is expected to play a huge part in any tournament or series where he is fit and available for selection.
While his absence will be a big blow to the team, they might as well risk playing without him in a format as fickle as T20 cricket, rather than potentially not having him available for the World Test Championship final or the World Cup next year.
#3 India won't want a repeat of the Zaheer Khan situation from 2011
The England tour in 2011, which kicked off at Lord's, started with Zaheer Khan spearheading India's bowling unit and carrying the hopes of any positive result. However, optimistic hopes dwindled quickly when the left-arm seamer hobbled off the field and was ruled out for the rest of the series.
India will want to avoid any mishap in the case of Jasprit Bumrah, especially during a major tournament. The team will be left in dire straits, leaving the captain with no options if the Mumbai Indians bowler pulls up with an issue during a knockout game in a major tournament.
Not only will it rule out the fast bowler for the foreseeable future, it might leave the Indian captain short of options and might cost the team the game as well.
Poll : Should India risk Jasprit Bumrah for the T20 World Cup?