Is Bumrah Fit to bowl in the World Cup 2023?
India’s Ace bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, has been out of the Indian Cricket Team for about a year now. The Pacer played his last match against Australia on 25th September last year and got ruled out due to a lower back injury. Bumrah has been in and out of injury since 2020, the leading cause of this being lateral fraction in his unique bowling action. The other reasons include his comeback to the team despite him not fully recovering from the past injury.
A distant video of Jasprit Bumrah bowling at Bangalore's National Cricket Academy leaked a few weeks ago. The supporters' rejoicing and celebrations spread like wildfire. It was difficult to tell much about Bumrah's bowling from that distance—if the motion was the same, whether the non-bowling arm was up at all, whether the tempo was good—but there was enough to make fans drool with anticipation. Then, more recently, a video of Bumrah bowling to KL Rahul appeared, this time recorded from a distance with a voice even asking, "Is it Bumrah?" Another wave of relief followed. Such has been the difficulties in Indian cricket's post-Bumrah era. Because the World Cup is being held in India, favorable playing conditions are anticipated for spinners, but a bowler of Bumrah's caliber doesn't require a conductive surface or overheads to be effective. It is crucial that the fast bowling unit is functioning well since India has recently struggled on spin-friendly surfaces (on the recent tour to the Caribbean and the ODI series finale against Australia in Chennai, to name two examples).
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The bench strength of India's fast bowling, which was the envy of the cricketing world not too long ago, was abruptly exposed when Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj were wrapped in cotton wool before the major event and Bumrah and Prasidh were out due to injury. Avesh Khan and Shivam Mavi, for example, still lack experience, and the selectors don't appear to have faith in Umesh Yadav to handle the white ball. In terms of Jaydev Unadkat, he has the left-armer's angle advantage and a ton of experience but is unlikely to cause top-tier batsmen any restless nights.
If Bumrah has fully recovered from his back issue and is healthy and performing at his peak, his pace, and distinctive bowling motion provide the Indian assault a distinct advantage. When Bumrah, Shami, Siraj, Kuldeep, and Ravindra Jadeja are on the bowling team in October and November, Indian supporters will be inspired to dream big. However, Indian selectors have in the past erred by bringing back Bumrah too soon following an injury. The pace spearhead was sidelined for over a year due to the hurry before the T20 World Cup in Australia last year. Because of this, the wise folks are waiting to see if he can bowl four overs without incident in a game before considering whether to allow him to bowl 10 in the Asia Cup and the home ODI series against Australia before the World Cup.