Euro 2020 Special

India to Depart for T20 World Cup on October 6th

India will depart for the World Cup in Australia on October 6th, just two days after the conclusion of their T20I series against South Africans in Indore.

With the two teams also set to play an ODI series following that, none of the players on World Cup duty will have any part to play in that. Instead, Shikhar Dhawan is likely to take charge of a side composed of second-string players.


India’s World Cup preparation

India will fly initially to Perth where they will be based for a week. That will give them time to acclimatise, and also play a practice match against Western Australia. From there they will make their way to Brisbane, where they are scheduled to take part in two warm-up games, against the hosts on 17th October, and then New Zealand two days later.

Their first match in the tournament itself will be against the old enemy Pakistan on 23rd October at the MCG in Melbourne, the third time the two teams have played each other following their two recent clashes in the Asia Cup.

One concern is that no fewer than five members of the World Cup squad, including current batting star, Suryakumar Yadav, have little or no experience of playing in Australian cricket, where the pitches are likely to be hard and faster than those on which they are accustomed to playing. It is hoped that his preparation time will enable them to get up to speed once the competition begins in earnest


Bumrah not ruled out yet

Reports that Jasprit Bumrah is definitely ruled out of the World Cup appear premature.

The fast bowler, who has had a history of back problems, and had only returned to action during the second T20I against Australia, had reported back pain whilst practising in the nets ahead of the first match against South Africa in Thiruvananthapuram.

He was sent for a scan, and that early indications were that he had suffered a lower back stress fracture, which would keep him out of action for a minimum of four or six weeks, although some outlets reported that it could be much longer than that,

However, the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has struck a slightly more optimistic note, saying that he was not out of the World Cup yet, and that it was better to adopt a “wait and see” approach.

It is not yet clear whether he will fly out with the team next week, or remain in India to get further treatment.

There is a need to balance expediency with caution, however, in Bumrah’s case. Whilst an Indian team with him in the starting line-up is potentially stronger, if he breaks down again there is a risk that he could be out for a lot longer.

And it also needs to be remembered that there is another World Cup next year, this time the 50 over a side variety, which India are hosting. Arguably they have a better chance of winning that with home conditions in their favour, but they will need Bumrah firing on all cylinders if they are to do so.


Hooda fitness still in doubt

Another member of the squad with question marks over his fitness is Deepak Hooda. He, too, picked up a back injury, which ruled him out of the South Africa series.

The 27-year old only made his T20I debut for India earlier this year, but has earned his place in the squad with his ability to score quick runs, and also bowl a few overs of off-spin. With Ravindra Jadeja already forced to miss the tournament with the knee problem he picked up fielding in the Asia Cup, Hooda offers the side some much needed balance.


Siraj called up

With Bumrah definitely missing the last two T20Is against South Africa, Mohammad Siraj has been drafted in as his replacement. He last played for India in this format of the game in Dharamsala in February against Sri Lanka.

If he does play in the second match in Guwahati it will be his sixth T20I in all. His previous five matches saw him take five wickets at an economy rate of 10.45.

If Bumrah is eventually ruled out of the World Cup, a good performance in these two games could yet see him force his way into the squad, even though he is not even among the reserves at present.




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