In a major setback for India ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has reportedly been forced to withdraw due to a back ailment. According to BCCI sources cited by news agency PTI, Bumrah has a stress fracture in his back and will miss the World Cup. Bumrah’s exclusion has not yet been confirmed by the Board, but they have stated that he is being watched and would not be participating in India’s squad for the current series against South Africa. Bumrah’s absence will be a “massive blow” for the team, according to former India selector Saba Karim, but the fact that players like Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar are on the standby list for the World Cup demonstrates that the captain, Rohit Sharma, and the management have been preparing for the possibility that they may be without their star pacer.
“Yes, he’s such a unique bowler. In the T20 format, you need someone who can bowl with the new ball and pick wickets and then can come back to finish his spell in the death overs. He’s extremely effective and plus his match awareness, he’s kind of part of the leadership group for the national side now. So yes, I think without him this will be a massive blow for India,” Saba Karim stated. “But you know one can sense that the Indian team management and the Indian captain were kind of preparing for this. That’s why they thought of bringing in Mohammed Shami and they also have Deepak Chahar on stand-by,” the former selector added. “So, I think it’s good in a way that India played all these bilateral engagements without Jasprit Bumrah in the line-up,” he said. He also supported Mohammed Shami as Bumrah’s replacement. “I’ll go ahead with Mohammed Shami because he will find form although he hasn’t played but he’s that kind of bowler who once given an opportunity he can always step up and do the job for India,” he said.
“Plus, with this kind of experience, you need somebody at the top who can pick you wickets and you’ve seen Mohammed Shami in the last Indian T20 league, he’s such a bowler who can pick wickets with the new ball in the power play and India needs that. So, if Mohammed Shami can pick up early wickets with the new ball, that’s the kind of start India would need while defending the target or while trying to restrict the opposition from setting a huge target,” he said. In Bumrah’s absence, he added, the other Indian bowlers on the team must step up, particularly in the final few overs.