New Delhi, Jan 9 (SocialNews.XYZ) Former India left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan is hoping that pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is fully or more than hundred percent fit ahead of his comeback into competitive cricket through the ODIs against Sri Lanka, starting from Tuesday in Guwahati.
Bumrah has been out of cricketing action since September 2022 and has also missed the Men's T20 World Cup in Australia due to a back injury. "Look I'm very sceptical about Jasprit Bumrah's comeback, I'm hoping that he will not have an injury effect on his bowling. But I really hope that he is fully fit, more than hundred per cent fit, which is what I want to look at because a player like Bumrah, is very important to the Indian team," said Pathan on 'Follow the Blues' show on Star Sports.
Pathan also stressed on why a fit Bumrah is extremely crucial for the Indian team in the build-up to the ODI World Cup. "For him to play consistently and remain fit is of utmost importance because to find a player of his quality is very rare, so to manage him and for him to manage his body and to keep his fitness levels on top as well as to keep his mind on recovering from his stress injury and go under rehabilitation, and to continue to grow and move forward as a cricketer is of vital importance not only to Bumrah but for the team management as well."
From Tuesday onwards, through the three-match series against Sri Lanka, India have 15 ODIs through bilateral series and the Asia Cup in September before the 50-over World Cup happens in the country in October-November. Pathan is expecting the shortlisted 20 players to be a part of the matches in the run-up to the mega event.
"It is important to win the series, whatever series we play. The bilateral series or if you play the home or away series, it is important to win your confidence as well. But the aim would be the 2023 World Cup which is happening in India this October."
"So keeping the World Cup in mind, we need to focus on the team combination and select the 11 players accordingly. I expect team India to field only those players these 20 matches who will be playing the 2023 World Cup so that everyone gets enough time to prepare themselves and this preparation for the World Cup starts with the India vs Sri Lanka series."