'You have the best car in the world but leave it in the garage...': Lee's stern take on India's T20 World Cup squad
As the suspense builds over Jasprit Bumrah's replacement, Brett Lee has come up with a name that feels should make it to India's T20 World Cup squad.
The India cricket team's squad of 15 for the T20 World Cup is one that is being heavily debated. More so given the fact that after star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, their premier pacer Jasprit Bumrah too has been ruled out of the tournament with an injury. To make matters worse, one of the reserve players, Deepak Chahar – tipped to be one of the candidates to replace Bumrah in the squad – has also copped an injury and is all but out of the World Cup as well. With problems looming, India are left with only a handful of options – which is to either promote the experienced Mohammed Shami to the primary squad, or use call-up either speedster Umran Malik or Mohammed Siraj.
While Shami is most likely to get the nod, more intrigue has been added with reports of Umran and Siraj travelling to Australia with the Indian team as net bowlers. While Umran has been labelled raw and last played for India in Ireland back in June, Siraj will enter the World Cup on the back of a 'Player of the Series' worthy performance against South Africa. However, if it comes to selecting between the two, former Australia pacer Brett Lee has put in his vote for Umran, and feels the 22-year-old should be in India's World Cup squad.
"Umran Malik is bowling at 150 km per hour. I mean when you have the best car in the world, and you leave it in the garage, then what's the point of having that car? Umran Malik should have been picked in the Indian squad for the World Cup," Lee told Khaleej Times.
"Yes, he is young, yes, he is raw, but he bowls at 150 kmph, so get him in the team, get him to Australia where the ball flies through. It's different when you have a guy bowling at 140 kmph and a guy who is bowling at 150 kmph."
Chances of Umran playing though appear slim as the fast bowler is reportedly stuck with visa issues. Plus, he has featured in only three T20Is for India and the fact that he has been rested shows that the team management probably feels he still isn't ready. With Bumrah injured, which as per Lee is a 'huge blow', India require a pacer who can partner Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh, more so now when the team's death bowling appears a concern with bowlers bleeding runs.
"The fact is that Jasprit Bumrah suffered the back injury, it's huge blow to India's chances (at the World Cup). I am not saying they can't do it. They are a wonderful side, but a strong Indian side is the side that has Jasprit Bumrah. That would put pressure on guys like Bhuvneshwar Kumar," added Lee.