The Premier Indian pacer, Jasprit Bumrah will be missing the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2022 due to a back injury. He is one of India’s key players, and his absence will hurt the team a lot, especially in the Australian conditions. The Indian team management will now have to pick a replacement for the ace fast bowler. Deepak Chahar and Mohammed Shami are the top two candidates as they are present in the list of reserves.
In the past, fans have noticed that the Indian selectors have made surprise inclusion in the squad to leave the opponents perplexed. A similar thing could happen at this year’s T20 World Cup as well. Here’s a look at the five fast bowlers outside the reserve list who could surprisingly replace Jasprit Bumrah in the Indian squad.
#1 Umran Malik
Many fans and cricket pundits wanted Umran Malik to be included in India’s T20 World Cup squad. However, his disappointing performances in the three T20Is he played for the Men in Blue led to his exit from the squad. Malik scalped two wickets in three matches at an economy rate of 12.44. His ability to clock 150 kmph consistently on the speedometer is what makes him one of the candidates to replace Bumrah.
#2 T Natarajan
Not many fans would be in favor of picking a player in the T20 World Cup squad who has been missing competitive cricket for quite some time now. However, T Natarajan has a great record in Australian conditions. The left-arm pacer made his international debut on Australian soil and starred in India’s T20I series win against the Aussies in 2020. His fitness issues led to his exit from the team, but he looked in decent shape in the T20 leagues earlier this year.
#3 Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav recently made his comeback to the Indian T20I squad after missing the format for three years. He picked up two big wickets in the first T20I against Australia but was dropped because of his inability to contain the flow of runs. Yadav has played a lot of games of cricket in Australia. His performances in T20s have improved in 2022, and the selectors have shown faith in him since India’s exit from the Asia Cup. He remains one of the contenders to replace Jasprit Bumrah.
#4 Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur played for India in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE. He failed to take wickets in the two games he played. As a result, he only got one more T20I after the T20 World Cup. Thakur has a knack for taking wickets regularly and he can contribute his bit with the bat. Considering that he has experience playing in Australia, the selectors could consider him for the marquee event.
#5 Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj returned to the Indian T20I squad in the series against South Africa as a replacement for Jasprit Bumrah. Like Shardul Thakur, Siraj has some experience playing in Australian conditions. Siraj’s performance in T20 cricket has also gradually improved. It will be interesting to see if he jumps ahead of Chahar and Shami in the race to play for India at the T20 World Cup.