Bumrah is 'vital' for India's chances in World Cup, says Pragyan Ojha
Bumrah will mark his return in the T20I series against Ireland starting on 18 August in Dublin.
CHENNAI: With the first ball of the home World Cup merely two months away, Indian team management is looking to add some finishing touches to their squad and approach. Despite missing out on international cricket action since September 2022, Jasprit Bumrah is still vital for India's chances.
Former India international Pragyan Ojha believes the pacer's contribution, especially in the home conditions cannot be overstated. "I think, Bumrah is very important for this Indian setup. And that is why we are discussing his return, even though he has not played for a year," Ojha, expert for JioCinema said in a select media interaction.
Bumrah will mark his return in the T20I series against Ireland starting on 18 August in Dublin. This series will be his first white ball series after missing out on the T20 World Cup in Australia due to a back injury. In the absence of senior players like the captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, the 29-year-old will lead the side in three-match series, which will also include the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad as his deputy.
Ojha understands the reasons why the selection committee has opted for Bumrah to captain India. "When you look at the squad selected against Ireland, there are a lot of youngsters. The senior-most player usually gets to be the captain. He has been the captain of the Indian side in Test and he loves responsibility. Having that responsibility gets the best out of him," Ojha mentioned.
Ojha has only one concern for Bumrah regarding his match fitness. "The biggest challenge for him would be to get his match fitness. Because it has almost been a year (he last played a T20I in September), that could be a challenge for him. No matter how much fitness you do or net bowling you do, that is completely different from the match fitness. This is where he will be tested."
"If he does well and doesn't get any niggles back, that will be a victory for NCA, BCCI and Bumrah himself. With the World Cup in India he has to play because he adds value to the Indian side," Ojha concluded.