Asia Cup 2023, IND vs PAK: “If Jasprit Bumrah doesn’t play then we can lose” – Mohammad Kaif

Asia Cup 2023, IND vs PAK: "If Jasprit Bumrah doesn't play then we can lose" - Mohammad Kaif
Asia Cup 2023, IND vs PAK: "If Jasprit Bumrah doesn't play then we can lose" - Mohammad Kaif

Asia Cup 2023, IND vs PAK: “If Jasprit Bumrah doesn’t play then we can lose” – Mohammad Kaif

Asia Cup 2023, IND vs PAK: Former Indian batter Mohammed Kaif on Wednesday said that a fully fit Jasprit Bumrah will be key to India’s chances in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 being held in India this year, especially during the much-anticipated match with arch-rivals Pakistan.

Bumrah makes his return to competitive cricket as he will lead India during the T20I series against Ireland, starting in August, announced Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday. “It will depend on the players who are injured. Bumrah I think will be the key if he comes back fully fit. How fit is he we will get to know in Asia Cup. He is going to Ireland right now. So, I am going to see his bowling. If Bumrah fully fit then India will be a strong side at home,” said Kaif while talking to the media he on the sidelines of ‘Pitchside-My Life in Indian Cricket’ book launch.

On the match against Pakistan, which comes after their last meeting at T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, Kaif said that the biggest factor in the match for India will be Bumrah and if he does not come back, Men in Blue will have to work harder to win.

“50-over is a different format. In Australia it was a T20 format which we played but India play well against Pakistan. They always play well in ICC events, they have a good record against Pakistan. More than record the players who injured, it (the match) depends on them. At the moment India is not looking the strongest on paper because they are missing the key players. We are missing KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant. The biggest factor is Bumrah. If he does not make a comeback then India will have to work harder,” said Kaif.

Kaif also said that he does not think that India can make two teams with the bowlers they have.

“We still do not have Bumrah’s back up. If Bumrah does not play then we can lose. We will have problems before World Cups,” he added.

The pacer underwent a successful back surgery in March. And has not played competitive cricket since a T20I match at home against Australia in last September. He had also missed a lot of action in the Asia Cup when his back injury surfaced.

Following this, he made a brief return to action during the Australia T20I series at home in September, but his injury resurfaced. Bumrah chosen for the ODI series against Sri Lanka in January this year. After he had started his rehab in November last year and started to bowl in December.

But during his fitness drills in January, which increased in intensity, he started to face discomfort once again. He also missed ICC T20 World Cup 2022 and Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023.

The squad also witness new faces like Rinku Singh, who had a breakthrough Indian Premier League (IPL) season with Kolkata Knight Riders, scoring 474 runs in 14 matches at an average of over 59 with four half-centuries. Pacer Prasidh Krishna, last played for Team India in August 2022 against Zimbabwe. Due to a lumbar stress fracture, he missed the IPL 2023, where he was to play for Rajasthan Royals.

All-rounder Shivam Dube, who last played for India in February 2020, also makes his return to the side after a hard-hitting 2023 IPL season with Chennai Super Kings, for which he hit 418 runs in 16 matches with three fifties and impressed with his power-hitting in a title-winning campaign.

Hardik Pandya, who has been captaining the T20I side in the absence of senior players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma does not find a place in the squad.

The matches will be played on August 18, 20 and 23 in Dublin, Ireland.

Team India (Senior Men) squad for T20I series against Ireland:

Jasprit Bumrah (C), Ruturaj Gaikwad (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson (wk), Jitesh Sharma (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Prasidh Krishna, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan.

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