NEW DELHI: India’s T20 World Cup hopes suffered a major blow with Pace Bowler on Wednesday Jasper Bumrahs back injury resurfaces, which will likely force him to skip the marquee event in Australia in October. Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) sources said TOI Bumra had been dismissed from the side currently playing South Africa in a T20I series.
This is the second injury-related setback for India before the World Cup, following Ravindra Jadeja’s knee injury.
“Until now, he has been banned from the current series. He has gone to the National Cricket Academy (in Bengaluru) for rehabilitation. Team management want a proper assessment of his injury to determine if he can be fit for the World Cup. But the injury looks bad. He is believed to be suffering from a stress fracture. It could take a long time to recover,” BCCI sources said.
While team management is still hopeful, Bumrah’s World Championship chances seem slim. India will play their first World Cup match against Pakistan on October 23 in Melbourne. TOI reported on September 9 that BCCI was concerned about Bumrah’s fitness despite the fact that the bowler missed the Asian Cup due to the same injury.
Bumrah is understood to have been selected for the T20 World Cup and both T20I series despite not reaching full fitness. The idea behind selecting Bumrah was to gradually prepare him for the World Cup by playing him in the two series at home against Australia and South Africa.
With Bumrah’s history of back injuries, it was always a touch and go. This is the third time in his career that the Pacer has been sidelined with a back injury.
“That was an ongoing problem with Bumrah. This is more of a case of an injury getting worse. When he was picked at home for the two series, it was clear he would not be forced back into international matches,” the source said.
Bumrah was rested for the first T20I against Australia at Mohali. He bowled just six overs on his return to international cricket since last playing in England in July. Hardik Pandaya had also claimed after the first T20I that Bumrah could not be pushed back in international games.
The bigger concern right now is a possible long layoff for Bumrah. The selectors and team management must bear in mind that India is in contention for a place in the vulnerable position World Championship in test (WTC) finals. The recurring back injury could also put his Test career in jeopardy. India is expected to conduct a further six tests in this WTC cycle, with Australia touring India for a four-test series in February-March next year.
What worries the board is that Bumrah has only played five Tests, five ODIs and five T20Is this year, apart from 14 games for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. It is understood that there have been discussions about Bumrah being treated in the US. It looks like he’ll likely reach full fitness before next year’s IPL if things don’t take a turn for the worse from here.
Whether or not Bumrah is eliminated from the World Cup, it’s clear that India’s pace spearhead is back on the ground with a sore back. The fast bowler had just made a comeback from injury and the collapse raises questions about proper injury management. Injuries are unpredictable. But at the same time, BCCI should make a sustained effort to ensure India’s top players are fit for major tournaments – and that doesn’t include IPL.
choice between Schami and Chahar?
Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar are the standbys. Shami was not favored in the T20 format but offers experience. Chahar was slated to replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar on an equal footing. His clout also works in his favor. One of Avesh Khan or Mohammed Sirai could also make it into the reserves.