Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is set to miss the T20 World Cup due to an injury but head coach Rahul Dravid on Saturday said he won’t go deep into his medical reports and will wait for an official confirmation regarding his availability for the showpiece in Australia.
India suffered a big setback when their pace spearhead Bumrah was ruled out of their final preparatory series against South Africa due to stress fracture in his lower back.
“We are awaiting the official confirmation on the next steps. As of now, he’s officially ruled out of this (SA) series. But we will see what happens over the next few days,” Dravid told reporters on the eve of the second T20I against South Africa.
Usually a stress fracture in the back takes about six months to heal completely but Dravid said they are still “hopeful”.
“Honestly, I’ve not gone deeply into the medical reports, I rely on the experts to tell me what it is. They ruled him out for this series and he’s being assessed. We will know in due course what happens in the future,” the 49-year-old said.
“Obviously till he’s completely ruled out, and we get an official confirmation that he’s ruled out, we will always be hopeful. We will always hope for the best just for us as a team and Jasprit as an individual.”
Bumrah, who has been out of action since the India tour of England in July, had recently made a comeback during the home T20I series against Australia but the 28-year-old has been forced to head back to the National Cricket Academy for rehab again.
Bumrah’s spate of injuries, despite his workload being carefully looked after by the think-tank, has become a matter of debate.
Bumrah played all the 14 IPL matches for his franchise Mumbai Indians and since then he only featured in six Internationals in four months.
Doing rehab at the NCA, Bumrah made a comeback in the preceding Australia series where he played two matches and travelled with the team to Thiruvananthapuram for the 1st T20I against South Africa only to be ruled out ahead of the game.
“To a large extent we manage to get everything. Not everything will be perfect. It happens, it’s part and parcel of the game, we are not the only team which suffers from injuries.
“Obviously if they happen closer to big tournaments they can upset your plans a little bit. Everyone is making good efforts to minimise the injuries as much as possible,” Dravid defended their workload management.
The former India skipper said it’s normal to have injury issues and added they really work hard with their sports science team to manage the players’ workloads.
“I don’t think there is a team in the world which can say they don’t have injuries at all. It’s part of the game, you play the game a lot, you play it all the time, people will get injured, that’s the nature of the sport,” he said.
There has been a lot of debate on who is going to replace Bumrah if he is officially ruled out as only two weeks are left for their World Cup warm-up fixture against Australia.
But Dravid said they are in their comfort zone, having got all the skill sets for different conditions and rival sides in Australia.
“We are quite comfortable that we have got all the skills that allow us to play different combinations and different kinds of XIs based on the wickets and oppositions. That’s really important in a World cup when you play in 4-5 different venues.
“You need to have that little bit of versatility and flexibility in your squad that allows you to change things.
“Over the last few series, we probably have not been able to play that squad due to a variety of reasons. But most of the guys in the 15 now have had a pretty decent amount of cricket in the last six months.”
Dravid said they have absolute clarity on the roles assigned to each of the players in the World Cup-bound squad.
“Within the group, within the team, we have been pretty clear about the kind of combinations we want, the kind of players that we are likely to play in the XI. You can’t pick an XI months in advance, you don’t know the wicket, and what it’s like.
“We have been pretty clear about the skills we want in the 15. For me, that is really important. The kind of squad we pick to the World cup, barring injuries, what were the skills that we are looking for, different kinds of bowlers, certain batting skills, we have been very clear about.”