Shane Watson believes that there is no like-for-like replacement for a bowler with incredible skill like Jasprit Bumrah in the T20 World Cup in case he misses the tournament. Watson also tagged Australia as favourites for World Cup commenting they will have advantage of playing in home conditions.
With T20 World Cup scheduled next month, India are gearing up for the tournament and the South Africa series will be their final chance to decide the playing combination for the event. India will start their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 23 in Melbourne. However, there have been some reports that claim Jasprit Bumrah will be unavailable for the T20 World Cup due to injury. Head coach Rahul Dravid has cleared the air around the situation saying that there isn’t any official confirmation yet.
Sharing his views on the matter Shane Watson has stated that India will miss Bumrah badly if he stays on the sidelines and there is no like-for-like replacement for him.
"If Jasprit Bumrah is not fit and not playing at this World Cup, then it would make it all the more difficult for Team India to win because Bumrah is as good as an attacking bowler and as a defensive bowler as anyone in the world, let alone for India. He has got an incredible skill, it will be a huge loss," Watson said in an exclusive interview with NDTV.
"There is no like-for-like replacement for Bumrah in the world, leave alone India. It is going to be very hard to find those defensive bowlers in trying to close the game when they are bowling last or close out an innings as well. That is going to be the real challenge."
The World Cup will be played in Australia and the defending champions are considered favourites by many to win the title for the second time in a row. They will play T20Is against West Indies and England before the tournament and would like to enter the showpiece event with the intent to lift the silverware. Watson believes that Australia will win the trophy as they are the most familiar side with playing conditions and most of the players are from last year’s World Cup winning team.
"For me, Australia are the favourites. They are the defending champions, Australia are playing at home and they know the conditions better than anyone else. Bigger grounds, the faster and bouncier wickets. They are the standout for me, there squad is not going to change much at all. Their team is not going to change much from the team that won the last World Cup,” Watson explained.