Former India coach Ravi Shastri is of the opinion that Jasprit Bumrah should not be rushed back into the Indian squad, citing the example of Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi at last year’s T20 World Cup.
“That’s the concern, you want him fit. He is such a world class operator but you want him fully fit. He is such an important cricketer, you think should we rush him for the World Cup. Then you do that and then lose him for four months after that. Much like Shaheen Afridi. Pakistan rushed him into that T20 World Cup and he has not played till just recently. He was out for four months,” Shastri said in an interaction with the Week.
“Thin line you draw about being greedy and wanting to play and the individual has to think about himself. Sometimes you want to go back to the field and it can be a costly error. It’s something you have got to look at. I think there is Shami and Siraj so there is experience. You don’t need too many fast bowlers in India. It is more the spin department. That is also covered with Jaddu, Axar, you’ve got a few leg spinners around like Chahal, Kuldeep, Bishnoi. So you have enough depth there,” he added.
Bumrah has been out with an injury since the Asia Cup 2022, missing the 2022 T20 World Cup, the Indian Premier League and the World Test Championship final in the process.
Shastri also spoke in depth about who should be the captain after Rohit Sharma in white-ball cricket after the 2023 World Cup, earmarking Hardik Pandya as his successor.
“Let’s be clear. His body (Hardik Pandya) cannot cope with Test cricket. After the World Cup, I feel he should take over captaincy in white-ball cricket,” Shastri said.
India will begin preparation for the World Cup when they take on the West Indies in a 3-match ODI series after the two Tests are concluded.
The ODI matches are scheduled for July 27, 29 and August 1 respectively.