Jasprit Bumrah during a practice session. (AFP)
Jasprit Bumrah has been dogged by a back injury, for which he has undergone surgery in New Zealand. The last time he played in the India colours was back in September 2022
Hardik Pandya, who is captaining India’s ODI side in the first match of the series against Australia, said that the team is not “much bothered” by the prolonged absence of ace speedster Jasprit Bumrah.
“Obviously having Jassi makes a massive difference which we all know what he brings, but to be very honest, we aren’t much bothered because the guys who have taken the role from Jassi have been quite confident and they have been doing really well. It gives us good confidence to go ahead and not worries about what else we can do,” Pandya said at a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday ahead of the match at the Wankhede Stadium.
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Pandya added that the team management has been backing the bowlers. “They’re all experienced now, the amount of games they have played,” he said.
Bumrah has been dogged by a back injury, for which he has undergone surgery in New Zealand. The last time he played in the India colours was back in September 2022 in a T20I against Australia in Hyderabad.
Bumrah has been a match-winner for India across formats. He has 128, 121 and 70 wickets in Tests, ODIs and T20Is respectively with averages (runs conceded per wicket taken) below 25 in all formats. His strike rate (balls bowled per wicket taken) of under 19 in T20Is is outstanding. Bumrah’s strike rates in Tests and ODIs are 48.9 and 31.4 respectively.
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Bumrah’s injury issues will now sideline him for not only the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) and the ICC World Test Championship final, but they could also cost him a place in India’s squad for the showpiece ICC World Cup that is to be held at home in October-November. In that context, it is important for the team management to be unfazed and that is perhaps what Pandya was alluding to.
India are also missing the services of key batsman Shreyas Iyer, who is out with back problems too and there is no certainty on when he can return. While acknowledging the hit that the team would undergo due to the absence of Iyer, Pandya spoke about finding a solution.
“Obviously there is no timeline but we have to hope for the best.” Pandya said “It is going to impact. Obviously, we are going to miss him but we will have to slowly start finding solutions if he is not around (for a long time).”
Pandya himself faced back issues that put him out of reckoning between 2019 and 2020. “I have been in that situation where the back could be a problem,” Pandya said.
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If Bumrah does miss the ICC World Cup, India will be depending on a lively group of pacers like Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Umran Malik to help them emulate Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side that won the ICC World Cup at home 12 years back.
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