TOI has learned that Mohammed Shamic will most likely replace Bumrah in the 15-man squad for the World Cup, while Mohammed Siraj will travel to Australia on standby. As TOI reported on September 30, the choice was between Deepak Chahar and Shami if Bumrah ultimately failed to make the cut.
“The team management is clear about the like-for-like backups. Chahar has been identified as one for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Bhuvneshwar is still the first choice swing bowler. Shami was seen as a strike bowler to cover up for Bumrah. So, Shami is currently leading the way. Siraj is scheduled to travel with the team as a standby,” a source told TOI.
In a statement on Monday, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said: “BCCI’s medical team has banned Team India’s fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah from the ICC T20 World Cup men’s squad. The decision was made after a detailed review and in consultation with the specialists. Bumrah was initially banned from the ongoing 3-match T20I series against South Africa due to a back injury. The BCCI will soon appoint a replacement to the squad roster.”
India has until October 15 to name a replacement for Bumrah without ICC approval. Shami missed both the home T20I series against Australia and South Africa due to Covid-19, while Mohammed Siraj did well on India’s final tour in Australia in 2020-21, albeit in the Test series. Chahar, who has bowled well against SA in the ongoing series, is also a strong contender.
Obviously, with India playing their T20 World Cup long opener against arch-rival Pakistan on October 23, there was little time for the top pacer to recover in time. Perhaps the idea is to ensure that Bumrah returns to peak condition in time for the post-World Cup test series against Bangladesh and Australia, as India bids for the World Test Championship final.