India Were "Kind Of Preparing For This": Ex Selector On Jasprit Bumrah Injury
Jasprit Bumrah has reportedly been ruled out of the 2022 T20 World Cup, but Saba Karim believes the Indian team management was "preparing" for the eventuality.
In a big blow for India ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has suffered a back injury that has reportedly ruled him out of the upcoming mega event. News agency PTI, quoting BCCI sources, said Bumrah has suffered a stress fracture in the back and won't play the World Cup. The Board is yet to confirm Bumrah's exclusion, but they have said he is under supervision and out of India's squad for the ongoing series against South Africa.
Former India selector Saba Karim said Bumrah's absence will be a "massive blow" for the team, but also said that having players like Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar in their standby list for the World Cup shows that the management and captain Rohit Sharma had been preparing for the eventuality that they may be without their star pacer.
"Yes, he's such a unique bowler. In the T20 format, you need someone who can bowl with the new ball and pick wickets and then can come back to finish his spell in the death overs. He's extremely effective and plus his match awareness, he's kind of part of the leadership group for the national side now. So yes, I think without him this will be a massive blow for India," Saba Karim told Sports18.
"But you know one can sense that the Indian team management and the Indian captain were kind of preparing for this. That's why they thought of bringing in Mohammed Shami and they also have Deepak Chahar on stand-by," the former selector added.
"So, I think it's good in a way that India played all these bilateral engagements without Jasprit Bumrah in the line-up," he said.
He also backed Mohammed Shami to replace Bumrah.
"I'll go ahead with Mohammed Shami because he will find form although he hasn't played but he's that kind of bowler who once given an opportunity he can always step up and do the job for India," he said.
"Plus, with this kind of experience, you need somebody at the top who can pick you wickets and you've seen Mohammed Shami in the last Indian T20 league, he's such a bowler who can pick wickets with the new ball in the power play and India needs that. So, if Mohammed Shami can pick up early wickets with the new ball, that's the kind of start India would need while defending the target or while trying to restrict the opposition from setting a huge target," he said.
He also said that the other Indian bowlers in the team need to step up in Bumrah's absence, especially in the death overs.