India captain Rohit Sharma has indicated that his lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah’s return to the fold is not imminent but he is desperately hoping to have him back before the World Cup.
While Rohit said “things look positive at the moment” as far as Bumrah’s recovery is concerned, he couldn’t guarantee if the fast bowler would hop on the plane to Ireland for the upcoming white-ball assignments in Ireland.
Speaking about Bumrah while addressing a press conference on the eve of the first ODI against the West Indies in Bridgetown, Rohit said, “The amount of experience he (Bumrah) brings is very important. Right now he’s coming from a serious injury and I’ve no idea if he’ll travel to Ireland because the team hasn’t been announced yet.
“If he gets to play then it’s good and we hope he plays before the World Cup. When a player returns from a serious injury, match fitness, match feeling are some key components, which are missing,” said Rohit at the press conference ahead of the first ODI.
“We’ll see what has been planned and everything depends on his recovery. We are in constant touch with the NCA and things look positive at the moment,” added Rohit.
Bumrah had undergone surgery for a recurring back niggle in New Zealand in March and since then he has been on the recovery path.
The pacer had last played for India during the home T20Is against Australia in September last year.
Bumrah missed the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia and also missed the last Indian Premier League, a tournament in which he represents Mumbai Indians.
Last week the BCCI provided medical updates on the star pacer.
The matches in Ireland will be followed by the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, after which the Indian team will play three ODIs at home against Australia.
If Bumrah is not able to play in Ireland and Asia Cup, he will most likely feature in the series against Australia, which is scheduled to be held just before the World Cup.
Rohit also spoke about the Indian team’s injury problems in their ODI setup and the need for having backups.
“You need experience when you go into big tournaments. But when there are injuries, you just don’t know what you can do about it.
“Quite a few players are injured from our team but we try to identify players who are going to play in the World Cup and give them as many matches as possible so that they get the experience.
“Along with focusing on the XI, we need to focus on other 15-20 players too because anyone can get injured,” the India opener said.
With the focus primarily on the World Cup, which India is hosting in October-November, Rohit said the team management will get a clear idea about players who could be picked with specific roles in mind for the marquee tournament, and also how the overall squad would look.
“This (West Indies) is a very important series for us because many players are new here, they haven’t played many matches, so it’s important to give them exposure. They should be played and given a role and we will also get a chance to see if they have been given a role, how they are performing in the role, and how they are responding. In the three matches here, which all players we can give chances to and then we will take a decision after these 10-12 ODIs (before the World Cup),” Rohit said.
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