How will India win the WTC title without Jasprit Bumrah?
Big challenge in front of Team India, who will handle Bumrah’s responsibility
New Delhi. Team India reached the final of the World Test Championship for the second time in a row. India will face Australia in the final to be played at the Oval in England on June 7. It will not be easy for Team India to overcome Australia’s challenge in English conditions. If all goes well, Australia will enter the final of the World Test Championship with the pace battery of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc. On the other hand, Team India will enter this great match without its trump card i.e. Jasprit Bumrah.
Why is Bumrah important for India? This can be understood from his performance in the second cycle (2021-2023) of the World Test Championship. Due to injury, Bumrah could play only 10 Tests. But, he took a total of 45 wickets at an impressive average of 19.73. Bumrah also took five wickets 3 times.
Why is Bumrah important for India?
Among the top-5 bowlers who took the most wickets in the second cycle of WTC, only R Ashwin (19.67) has a better average than Jasprit Bumrah. Meaning, it is clear that with the presence of Bumrah, the strength of Team India increases manifold and if he is not in the team, then the tension is sure to increase.
Bumrah will not return before August
Jasprit Bumrah has recently undergone back surgery in New Zealand and will not be able to start training before August. It is clear that Bumrah will not play in the final of IPL 2023 and World Test Championship. The emphasis of BCCI is on making him fully fit till the ODI World Cup. Because Team India has suffered the loss of his injury last year. Bumrah did not play Asia Cup and T20 World Cup due to back injury and India missed out on winning the title.
Bumrah played the last international match in September 2022
After this, Bumrah was sent to the National Cricket Academy before the Test series against Australia. After being declared fit from here, Bumrah was added to the squad for the ODI series against Sri Lanka in January. But, after 6 days, he was withdrawn from the Sri Lanka series saying that he was not fully fit. It was clear that Bumrah’s return was hurried like last year.
Team India does not want to take chances with Bumrah
In fact, before the T20 World Cup last year, Bumrah was selected in the T20 series team against Australia with the intention of getting match fit. But, only after playing 2 matches, his back injury resurfaced. This was the reason that the Indian team management did not want to take a risk with Bumrah. For this reason, he was not selected for Sri Lanka, then New Zealand and later for the Border-Gavaskar series.
What will be the bowling combination in WTC final without Bumrah?
The final of the World Test Championship will be played at The Oval in June. Then the conditions in England favor the fast bowlers. India landed in the WTC Final in 2021 with 3 fast bowlers and two spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. But, this strategy did not work. New Zealand had defeated India. After this, India played a series of 5 Tests in England and Team India landed with a combination of 4 pacers and a spin bowler.
India will have to follow the same strategy in the Oval against Australia as well. Because the weather in England is cold in June. But, in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, it will be difficult for India to find 4 such fast bowlers, due to which India won the Test at Lord’s and Oval in 2021.
Who are Rohit’s 4 fast bowlers?
If Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj remain fit, then the Indian team management will be the first choice pacer in the final of the World Test Championship. At the same time, any one of Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat can get a chance as the third pacer. Hardik Pandya, who last played Test in 2018, can be an option for the fourth fast bowler. However, India’s problem is that neither Shami, nor Siraj and Umesh Yadav bowled much in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Shardul and Jaidev didn’t even play a single test.
From now till WTC Final, Team India will not play Red Ball Cricket. After IPL 2023, it will directly enter the finals of the World Test Championship. Looking at this, how will Team India arrange for those 4 fast bowlers who will be able to break Australia’s back.
FIRST PUBLISHED : March 14, 2023, 16:08 IST