FIRST, the good news. India are not yet ruling out Jasprit Bumrah’s participation in the upcoming T20 World Cup. His test results have ruled out a stress fracture as initially feared. The 28-year-old, who continues to have discomfort in the back, is still weeks from regaining full fitness, but with adequate rest and a rehabilitation programme, there is a slim chance he could be available for the later stages of the T20 World Cup.
The BCCI’s medical team remains hopeful that Bumrah can recover quickly, provided there are no further setbacks. Stress reactions tend to get better with adequate rest, but in case a bowler goes through routine skill-based training, there are chances of the injury resurfacing.
It is why the BCCI and the Indian team management are not ruling out or confirming his availability for the T20 World Cup. They are set to depart for Perth on October 6, where they will have training sessions ahead of their practice match against New Zealand in Brisbane.
As things stand, it is not clear whether Bumrah would fly with the rest of the team on October 6. Since Bumrah has been advised rest and recovery process set to follow after a couple of weeks, in case he travels to Australia, it could lead to further complications. For instance, the pacer has to take a long flight and he has to be monitored separately from the rest of the group. Although India will be stationed in Perth for around 5-6 days, once the practice fixtures and the league stage gets underway, they will be travelling to Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide. Such extensive flight travel isn’t advisable for a player who has been told get adequate rest.
As a result, India are pondering whether to leave Bumrah at the care of BCCI medical head Nitin Patel at the National Cricket Academy. This would ensure Bumrah gets proper rest and he would be able to continue his recovery process without any travel break.
Given the nature of the injury, the Indian team management is unlikely to rush him. The only risk they are prepared to take is to still keep Bumrah in the squad of 15 and take a final call before the league stages begin. “The first game is still 22 days away. It is going to be a step-by-step process and if he resumes skill-based training by then, then the team could use him in the later stages of the World Cup. It all depends on how smooth the recovery process goes,” sources familiar with the development told this daily.
With uncertainty surrounding Bumrah, India are planning to take Umran Malik and Mohammed Siraj as net bowlers for the T20 World Cup. Even the reserve pacers – Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar — will be travelling with the team to Australia. Other than Umran and Siraj, the BCCI is looking to send two more net bowlers. Reserve batter Shreyas Iyer will also travel with the team. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)