SPORTS BULLETIN REPORT
Shane Watson has used the latest episode of The ICC Review to reveal which pace bowler he thinks India should include if star quick Jasprit Bumrah is ruled out of the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup through injury.
Bumrah is battling an ongoing back concern that caused him to miss the recent Asia Cup and has already been ruled out of the current three-match T20I series at home against South Africa.
While India is still hoping Bumrah can prove his fitness and feature at the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, it remains unclear whether the right-armer will remain in India’s squad for the event.
Experienced seamers Mohammad Shami and Deepak Chahar are among the players already on India's standby list for the T20 World Cup, while Mohammad Siraj is also in the mix to feature given he received a call-up to replace Bumrah for the remainder of the South Africa T20 series.
Watson is adamant that Siraj is the best option for India to include if they receive the dreaded news that Bumrah will be forced to miss the 20-over showcase Down Under.
"The player I would put in if Jasprit’s not available is Mohammad Siraj, because of the firepower he presents," Watson told host Sanjana Ganesan on The ICC Review.
"Without Bumrah, that’s the one thing India won’t necessarily have, which is vital on Australian wickets on the bigger grounds with the pace and bounce.
"Siraj is great with the brand new ball. He is fast, he swings the ball away but also his defensive skills are pretty good.
"And he’s got better over the last couple of years, with what we’ve seen in the IPL.
"So, for me he’s probably going to be the one who is going to have the most impact."
Watson thinks India's chances of claiming a second T20 World Cup title will be severely hampered should Bumrah not make the trip to Australia.
Bumrah took more wickets than any other India pacer at last year's T20 World Cup and it’s the 28-year-old’s versatility to bowl superbly with the new ball and at the death that Watson thinks India will miss most.
"Honestly, I think it’s going to have a huge impact on India’s chances of winning the T20 World Cup,” Watson noted.