With Jasprit Bumrah getting ruled out of the T20 World Cup 2022 due to a back injury, Team India’s worst nightmare has come true. He complained of back pain and was removed from the ongoing three-T20I series against South Africa. After the rumors of him missing the T20 World Cup emerged last week, the suspense around his availability grew further when India coach Rahul Dravid refused to rule him out entirely. However, on Monday, all the speculations were put to rest as India is already dealing with a major blow as all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is also missing the marque event.
The management is still, however, deciding on the replacement of Bumrah, they have a couple of pacers in the reserve players in Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar. However, the BCCI will also be having the option of including Mohammed Siraj, who was recently named Bumrah’s replacement against South Africa. But while all three of them might be seen as potential candidates, legendary Indian cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar reckons the void left by Bumrah’s absence will be nearly impossible to fill.
With India facing the problem of leaking runs in slogs overs in recent times, Sunil Gavaskar believes might severely hurt India come to the World Cup. In his column for Mid-Day, Gavaskar wrote: “Jasprit Bumrah’s absence from the Indian team for the World Cup will hurt India considerably. There’s no other player in the Indian team, with due respect to every other player, whose absence means so much more than Bumrah.”
He further added, “We saw in the two games that he played how effective he was and how his presence in the team galvanized the other bowlers. Whether he made the comeback too soon, is now something in the nature of conjecture. The way Deepak Chahar and young Arshdeep Singh exploited the conditions in Thiruvananthapuram does give hope that, with a bit of luck, they can fill in a fair bit of the hole left by Bumrah’s absence.”
Sunil Gavaskar also weighed in on the prospects of Axar Patel potentially being able to be an apt replacement for Ravindra Jadeja. Even with the bat, Axar has shown his capability, winning India a thriller against West Indies in August. Having honed his skills for years playing in the IPL, it might finally be Axar’s chance to prove his mettle in international cricket, adds Gavaskar.
The batting legend said, “Ravindra Jadeja’s absence is being made up to a great extent by Axar Patel and the way he is bowling does give the belief that he can limit the runs as well as take wickets. Over the years, he has added variety by the deft use of the crease and also the delivery speeds and angles. All the experience gathered in the IPL has been put to great use by the left-handed all-rounder. He will once again be the player to watch out for.”