NEW DELHI: India’s Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the remaining two matches against South Africa due to a back injury and remains doubtful for the T20 World Cup starting next month.
Bumrah, who recently returned to the squad from injury, missed the team’s opening T20 win over South Africa on Wednesday after he complained of back pain.
“He is out of the remaining two matches due to a back injury,” a senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“He awaits scan reports for his participation in the T20 World Cup, so fingers crossed.”
According to reports in the Indian media, the pace bowler has a stress fracture of the back and will miss the plane to Australia.
The BCCI, ahead of the T20 opener, said: “Jasprit Bumrah complained of back pain during India’s practice session on Tuesday. The BCCI medical team assessed him. He is ruled out of the first #INDvSA T20I.”
It will be a blow to India if he misses out and the team may have to fall back on their standby players including pace bowler Mohammed Shami for T20’s showpiece event in October-November.
The 28-year-old Bumrah played two T20 Internationals against Australia recently but was not at his best.
The team has missed Bumrah’s death bowling expertise in the crucial final overs.
He has played 30 Tests, 72 ODIs and 60 T20Is for India since making his international debut in January 2016.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was forced out of the World Cup due to a knee injury that made him pull out of the Asia Cup midway through the tournament.
ARSHDEEP FEELING STRONGER
Indian quick bowler Arshdeep Singh, meanwhile, is riding high after answering his critics with a match-winning attack on South Africa’s top order ahead of next month’s World Cup.
The Sikh cricketer weathered a torrent of online abuse this month after dropping a catch in the Asia Cup against arch-rivals Pakistan, and was rested for the following series against Australia.
But he returned to the field on Wednesday and stunned the Proteas with three wickets in the first over, including Rilee Rossouw and David Miller.
“Purpose of the last 10 days was to get refreshed and come back stronger and fitter,” Arshdeep told reporters after he was named man of the match, with figures of 3-32.
“Today was a really good example of showing good powerplay bowling,” he added.
“We are looking forward to doing amazing things in the coming games.”
Arshdeep, who made his debut in England two months ago, has proved a welcome addition to India’s T20 bowling lineup, which has otherwise struggled to deliver in the crucial final overs.
His bowling for Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League impressed national selectors and he returned the faith with figures of 2-18 on debut in Southampton.
India have two matches to experiment before the Australia tournament and Arshdeep said that adaptability would be the key to success.
“When we go there, we will see how the pitches behave and how the conditions are and the dimensions of the ground,” he said.
Arshdeep is one of two recent debutants in the main squad headed to Australia in October, along with fast bowler Harshal Patel.
He said that team veterans had backed younger additions to the hilt — even when he was on the receiving end of Indian fans’ vitriol.
“It feels good, because the team environment is really good,” he said.
“All the juniors and seniors gel up really well and we enjoy each other’s success, and even if anyone is having a bad day everyone has each other’s back.”
Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2022