India will be without Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja at the T20 World Cup, and their absence is indeed a big blow but former head coach Ravi Shastri sees it as a time to find a “new champion” within the ranks.
“Bumrah’s injury is unfortunate,” Shastri said at the launch of Coaching Beyond alongside Bharat Arun and R Sridhar. “There is so much cricket being played (that) people can get injured easily. But it’s an opportunity for somebody else as there is nothing you can do with injury. With Bumrah and Jadeja not in the side, it hampers the side but also provides an opportunity to unearth a new champion.
“We’ve a good team I think. If you can make it to the semifinals, then it could be anyone’s tournament. So the endeavour will be to start well, get to the semifinals and then you have got enough strengths there to probably win the World Cup.”
India haven’t yet named a replacement for Bumrah but are waiting to hear back on the fitness of Mohammed Shami. Shastri tipped Shami as a replacement for Bumrah.
“His experience precisely,” explained Shastri. “India has been there a lot in six years and he (Shami) has been an integral part of all those tours and that experience counts.”
Shastri also spoke on how India women’s cricket is waiting for its big moment. “They are only that far away from winning something big. You see what happened with the men’s cricket team when they won the World Cup in 1983. So if the women win a World Cup, the interest that will be generated will be unbelievable. The more and more I see of the Indian women play, they are far more self-confident with the exposure they have got, and they have far more self-belief that they can actually go the distance.”