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How Jasprit Bumrah’s Absence Impacts Team India’s T20 World Cup Chances

India's Jasprit Bumrah bowling
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The biggest nightmare for every Indian cricket fan has turned into reality. Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia with a stress fracture in his back. The star pacer will spend the next 4-6 months on the sidelines with this injury and is unlikely to return to action before the turn of the year.

Bumrah’s absence is a monumental blow for team India’s hopes of winning the 2022 T20 World Cup. The Mumbai Indians pacer is one of the best T20 bowlers on the planet – if not the best – and is virtually irreplaceable in this team India line-up. Furthermore, in Australian conditions where the pitches are bouncy and offer plenty of pace and carry, Bumrah is the only Indian fast-bowler that can consistently bowl at 140kph + and rattle the opposition batters with his speed.

The remaining Indian bowlers in the current set-up – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, and Harshal Patel – are pedestrian compared to Jasprit Bumrah and rely more on their skills to dismiss opposing batters.

Without Bumrah, India will be lacking the ball speed in their attack to hurt the opposition, and the bowling unit is one-dimensional with the lack of pace. Additionally, Bumrah is one of the most reliable bowlers in the world at the death. The pacer has an economy rate of just 7.5 in the final five overs of the innings in T20Is and has all the variations and experience needed to be effective in the toughest phase of the innings.

During the Asia Cup, India’s death bowling was particularly poor without Bumrah in the XI. Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded 14, 19, and 16 runs in the penultimate over in the games against Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Australia at Mohali and the veteran pacer was unable to land his yorkers or stick to his set plans. Harshal Patel struggled on his return to the team against Australia as well, conceding 22 runs and three sixes in the 18th over against Matthew Wade and Tim David in Mohali.

Arshdeep Singh does have an excellent T20I bowling record at the death for India in his short spell, but without Bumrah, India will be left vulnerable during the slog overs at the T20 World Cup down under.

The pacer’s unfortunate injury also increases the focus and importance of the Indian batting line-up. With a weakened pace attack, India’s batters will have to take more responsibility for making match-winning contributions. The likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Suryakumar Yadav will need to outplay the opposition with the bat in hand to nullify their bowling weakness, and India may benefit from packing their side with more hitters and better depth to go all in on their batting strategy.

Getting in R Ashwin, Harshal Patel, and Deepak Chahar into the side may be an option team India considers to lengthen the batting order, giving the top seven enough freedom to express themselves with the bat and go hard to take the game away from the opposition.

 

[Featured Image Credit: ANI]

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