India has been dealt a major injury blow ahead of the T20 World Cup, with pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah virtually ruled out of the marquee event in Australia, starting next month.
The Hindu understands that Bumrah is highly unlikely to board the plane to Australia next week. The development comes a day after Bumrah couldn’t take the field for the first T20I against South Africa.
On Wednesday, a team spokesperson revealed that Bumrah was unavailable for the game due to “back pain” felt during “Tuesday’s practice session”. Given his recurring back injury, the decision-makers were unwilling to take chances with the fitness of one of their key players.
Bumrah was earlier ruled out of the Asia Cup due to the back injury. In his last T20I on September 25, the third match against Australia, he conceded 50 off four overs — his worst T20I figures.
Shami in the mix
Bumrah’s unavailability brings Mohammed Shami, originally named as a standby, into the mix. However, Shami was not a part of the T20Is against Australia and South Africa as he is yet to recover from Covid, after testing negative for the same on Wednesday.
Bumrah’s injury puts a question mark on India’s bowling make-up in the lead-up to the major event.
Bumrah is the second senior star to be ruled out after Ravindra Jadeja, who is recovering from knee surgery.
The main draw of the T20 World Cup is to begin on October 22, with India slated to open its campaign against Pakistan on October 23. The Men in Blue are set to board a flight for Perth on October 6 for a preparatory stint.