Since Thursday, there have been rumours that India's star fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah won't be able to compete in the Men's T20 World Cup, which will begin in Australia the following month, because of a back ailment.
Bumrah suffered a back injury on Friday and was replaced for the remaining T20I matches against South Africa by fellow bowler Mohammed Siraj. Wasim Jaffer, a former cricketer for India, now believes that by pressuring Bumrah into playing the T20I series against Australia, the Indian team management acted prematurely.
"The stress fracture might have been there already; not to that extent, but it probably got worse after him playing a couple of games under that pressure. They kind of jumped the gun too early or made him play those games a little early," Jaffer was recorded by ESPNCricinfo saying in a video.
Bumrah participated in the T20I series against Australia after overcoming a back issue that prevented him from competing in the T20 Asia Cup in the UAE. He defeated Aaron Finch in Nagpur with a powerful yorker. Although he had stats of 0/50 in his four overs in Hyderabad, the most runs he had ever given up in a T20I, Cameron Green and Tim David took him to the task.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stated before the first T20I between India and South Africa at Thiruvananthapuram that Bumrah was ruled out of Wednesday's encounter after complaining of back pain during a practice session on the eve of the series opener.
"I just feel that probably in hindsight, I would say whether they have rushed him into playing against Australia, if at all I can say that. He might have taken a bit more time and probably got ready for the World Cup. I don't know the seriousness of the injury but that's what I feel, whether they kind of pushed him too early to play and then obviously, it reoccurred," added Jaffer.
Jaffer acknowledged that there is no like-to-like option for Bumrah in the team should he miss the T20 World Cup. Meanwhile, he believes that senior bowler Mohammed Shami, who is a member of the major event's travelling reserves, should take Bumrah's place in the starting lineup.
"I don't think we have got a replacement for Bumrah. He is a vital cog in this Indian team, and he'll be sorely missed. We haven't got anyone as good as Bumrah to bowl in the powerplay as well as in the death (overs) especially."
"But the best guy to replace him would probably be Mohammed Shami. But again, the death bowling is a concern with Shami. (Bumrah's absence) it's going to be a massive blow for India's preparation."
Along with Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh, and two other teams from the first round, India, the 2007 T20 World Cup champion, is in Group 2 of the T20 World Cup's Super 12. On October 23 at the MCG, India's T20 World Cup campaign will get underway against Pakistan.