Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the 2022 ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia with a back injury and India skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid have started their search for a replacement.
Bumrah was ruled out of the World Cup on Monday with a back injury and will stay home in India for the marquee event. In his absence, many names have been mooted as replacements.
Mohammad Shami, Deepak Chahar and Mohammed Siraj are believed to be the frontrunners, with Indian team management and selectors set to make a call in the coming days.
While Siraj and Chahar were a part of the 2-1 series victory against South Africa, Shami has been missing in action after failing to recover in time from a positive COVID test.
Chahar and Siraj did not have the best of games in the final T20I against the Proteas in Indore, registering figures of 1/48 and 0/44 respectively, as the hosts succumbed to a 49-run defeat.
Shami with his experience of bowling in the Australian conditions has now reportedly emerged as the option that the Indian selectors could opt for in Australia. Shami has been a part of two Test series victories in India, while also playing in a Cricket World Cup in 2015.
Dravid was asked about Shami's potential involvement in the post-match conference following India's loss to South Africa on Tuesday and stated that a decision would be made soon.
"In terms of who the replacement is, we'll have a look, we'll see, we've got time until October 15th. Shami obviously is someone who's in the standbys, but unfortunately for us, he couldn't play this series, which would have been ideal from that perspective," Dravid said.
"He's in the NCA (National Cricket Academy in Bangalore) at the moment - we'll have to get reports as to how he's recovering, and what's his status after 14-15 days of Covid, and we'll take a call, once I get reports on how he's feeling, then we can take a call and the selectors can take a call on how we move forward on it," Dravid added.
Rohit also alluded to Shami's inclusion in his post-match interview, stating that team management would be looking at options who had previous experience of bowling in Australia.
The India skipper stated, "We've got to get someone in who's got experience, who's bowled in Australia, and see what he has to offer. I don't know who that guy is yet. There are a few guys in the reckoning for that, but we'll make that call once we reach Australia."
India will now fly to Australia where they will play a couple of warm-up fixtures against Australia and New Zealand. They will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 23 in Melbourne.
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