Ravi Shastri is hopeful that India, despite the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja, can stage a strong performance in the coming T20 World Cup in Australia, beginning on October 16. Moreover, Shastri believes that this is a perfect opportunity for someone to become a ‘new champion’.
Ahead of the T20 World Cup, India endured a huge blow when the news arrived that their talismanic pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the entire tournament due to a back injury. A few weeks earlier, Ravindra Jadeja underwent knee surgery which forced him out of the World Cup as well. With two of their main players set to miss the tournament due to injury concerns, many experts have stopped predicting India as one of the favorites on paper.
However, Ravi Shastri thinks exactly the opposite of what most of the former players are thinking about India's squad. The former India head coach believes the Men in Blue have got a 'strong squad' for the World Cup, and there might be a 'new champion' to make a name for himself.
“[It’s] unfortunate. There’s so much cricket being played, and people get injured. Bumrah is injured, but it’s an opportunity for somebody else. There is nothing you can do with injury,” Shastri was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“I think we have got enough strength and we have a good team. I have always believed if you make it to the semi-finals, it could be anyone’s tournament. The endeavor would be to start well, get to the semis, and then you have got enough strength to probably win the [World] Cup, for all you know. Bumrah not being there, Jadeja not being there – it hampers the side – but it’s an opportunity to unearth a new champion."
Not to forget, India are yet to name a replacement for Bumrah for the T20 World Cup.
India will begin their World Cup campaign on October 23 by taking on Pakistan at the MCG.
India's T20 World Cup squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul (vice-capt), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, and Arshdeep Singh.
Standbys: Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, and Deepak Chahar.