T20 World Cup
It’s hard to replace a bowler like Bumrah:
It’s hard to replace a bowler like Bumrah, someone who has a career T20I economy rate of 6.62 in a format where run rates are soaring.
But India is left with no choice but to do so less than two weeks ahead of the marquee tournament with a back injury preventing Bumrah’s participation.
Here we outline three ways India could cope with Bumrah’s absence in Australia.
Pace for pace — a straight swap
India have Mohammad Shami and Deepak Chahar in the reserves and Mohammed Siraj as a third option outside the two to replace Bumrah in the T20 World Cup squad.
Siraj is another potential candidate to replace Bumrah. He bowls well during the Powerplay and death overs and is probably one of the quicker bowlers around the setup.
Chahar lacks the pace that Shami and Siraj have, but is a much-improved bowler in recent times and also contributes to batting depth.
Name batting heavy XI to negate burden on bowlers
With Hardik Pandya available as an all-round option, India could go batting heavy and bank on just the five bowlers to cover for Bumrah’s absence.
Setting larger totals by going batting heavy could help reduce the onus on the bowling attack to maintain the kind of economy rate Bumrah gave in his four overs.
Bank on Powerplay and middle-over wicket-taking options
India have had the luxury of bowling two of Bumrah’s overs in the death overs to stifle big hitters in the opposition ranks. With that cut out, India would want to rely on wicket-takers to take out the cream of the opposition batting before the big-hitting overs at the death arrive.
Going with bowlers capable of taking early wickets with the new ball would be a good way to dent teams at the start and bring their power hitters to the middle earlier.
Having wicket-taking spin or high-pace options in the middle could also be worth a punt to reduce the chances of the best batters being out there in the death overs.