All eyes are fixed on the anticipated return of pace maestro Jasprit Bumrah to international cricket after an absence of 11 months. Leading the Indian side against Ireland in the absence of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya, Bumrah’s comeback has generated fervent discussion in the Indian cricket community. Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri believes that if Bumrah proves his match fitness, he will be the first-choice fast bowler on the team.
Having taken a significant hiatus, Bumrah is back and concentrating on the larger objectives. After captaining India in the Ireland series, Bumrah is expected to spearhead the formidable bowling lineup alongside Rohit Sharma and company in the Asia Cup and ICC World Cup 2023. In preparation for these prestigious events, Bumrah might be eyeing the opportunity to bowl four overs per game against Ireland.
Speaking on the Selection Day show with Star Sports, Ravi Shastri emphasized the importance of having four pacers in the Indian squad.
“For me, the pacers are important. If you need four over there, you already have one all-rounder (Pandya). So, if Bumrah is fit, he walks in. Shami walks in – that’s two. You’ve got Siraj as a backup, and if needed, Shardul can be there. Shardul has done well in the West Indies one-day game; he can be a backup. And then you have room for one more,” Ravi Shastri stated.
Former chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil echoed Shastri’s sentiments, emphasizing the value of multiple all-rounders in the squad for the World Cup.
“I will go with what Ravi said because I want to remember 1983. The combination we had, we had many all-rounders in the team, and having all-rounders in the team gives you so much variety, and you can choose anybody,” Sandeep Patil added.
Having rehabilitated at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), Bumrah underwent surgery for a lower back stress fracture in New Zealand this year. The 29-year-old missed the entire home season, the IPL 2023 season, T20 World Cup, and Asia Cup last year. Prior to the Ireland series opener, Bumrah’s last T20I appearance was against Australia in September.