T20 World Cup: Dravid hasn’t given up on Bumrah

By, Guwahati
Oct 01, 2022 11:14 PM IST

The India coach is awaiting official confirmation on the extent of the pace spearhead’s back injury, but is confident of squad picked for the premier tournament in Australia.

Till there’s a definitive word on Jasprit Bumrah’s back injury and his availability for the T20 World Cup in Australia starting on October 22 (main group games), India’s bowling plans are likely to be clouded in uncertainty. Ahead of the second T20I against South Africa at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday, coach Rahul Dravid indicated the team management would rather wait on the spearhead who has suffered a recurring back injury.

Jasprit Bumrah(Action Images via Reuters)
Jasprit Bumrah(Action Images via Reuters)

“Bumrah has gone to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and we are awaiting official confirmation on the next steps. He’s only ruled out of this series as of now; we will see what happens over the next few days. Till I get official confirmation that he’s completely ruled out, we will always be hopeful. We will hope for the best for us as a team but also for Jasprit as an individual,” Dravid told reporters on Saturday. India won the first T20I in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday by eight wickets.

Bumrah’s injury is the biggest setback as India head to the World Cup—they play their first game against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on October 23. He isn’t the only injury concern. Deepak Hooda is nursing a back injury while Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been rested for this series to do conditioning-related work at the NCA. Arshdeep Singh has just returned after similar work at NCA, having missed the Australia series. Mohammed Shami, a standby for the World Cup, has missed the series against Australia and South Africa due to Covid.

Dravid said: “We’ve been pretty clear within the team about the kind of players we are likely to play in a XI (for the opening tie against Pakistan). You can’t pick a eleven in advance without knowing about the wicket, but we have been very clear about the skills we want in a squad of 15. We wanted different kinds of bowlers and certain batting skills. We have always been clear about it.”

In the group stage, India will face Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh and two qualifiers at four different venues—MCG, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide. Dravid, appointed head coach after last year’s T20 World Cup flop, suggested India have almost all bases covered this time.

“To a large extent, we have managed to get everything. Not everything will be perfect due to injuries and other factors. But I think we are quite comfortable that we have all the skills for different wickets and oppositions. That’s really important in a World Cup. You really need to have that versatility in the squad that allows you to change things up if required against a particular opposition. Over the last few series, we haven’t been able to play that squad due to a variety of reasons and that can happen. But most of the guys in the 15 have had a decent amount of cricket in the last six months,” he said.

If Bumrah does not make it to the World Cup, questions are likely to arise about the injury management protocols within the Indian team and NCA. The 28-year-old missed the Asia Cup in August and September due to a back injury and returned to the India squad for the Australia and South Africa T20Is following rehab at NCA. The injury seems to have flared up after just two games against the Aussies.

“Injuries are a part and parcel of the game. We are not the only team that suffers from injuries,” said Dravid. “Obviously when it happens closer to a big tournament, it can upset your plans a little bit. Everyone is trying to make a really good effort to minimise the injuries as much as possible. We really work hard with our sports science team, and even at NCA. We take their advice, but in spite of all this, there is not a team in the world that can say it isn’t affected by injuries.”

Catch all the Latest Cricket News and Live score along with IPL 2023 and IPL schedule related updates on Hindustan Times

    Vivek Krishnan is a sports journalist who enjoys covering cricket and football among other disciplines. He wanted to be a cricketer himself but has gladly settled for watching and writing on different sports.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, April 01, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals