Following the news that Harshal Patel has been ruled out of the Asia Cup due to a side strain, PTI’s revelation that Jasprit Bumrah may also miss the tour due to a back injury has devastated Indian cricket fans. This means that India will be missing two of its top pacers in Bumrah and Harshal in the Asia Cup.
According to a senior BCCI official quoted by PTI, “Jasprit Bumrah will miss the Asia Cup due to a back injury. He is our main bowler, and we want him back in action before the T20 World Cup. We can’t risk him in the Asia Cup because the injury could worsen.”
In the absence of the duo, India will rely on Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh as its first-choice pacers, with Avesh Khan the favourite to take the third spot. This will also almost certainly result in one of Mohammed Siraj, who has been outstanding in his last two ODI series, or Deepak Chahar returning to the T20I squad.
In terms of the playing XI composition, India could opt for two spinners and two pacers rather than three pacers and one spinner, as the spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, and Kuldeep Yadav has performed admirably in the opportunities given, and the matches will be played in conditions that favour spin bowling over pace bowling. This way, with Hardik Pandya’s improved bowling, they wouldn’t be without a third pace bowling option either.
The new-look Indian XI is expected to include: Rohit Sharma(c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant(wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin/Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, and Yuzvendra Chahal.