Mumbai Indians are set to be hit with a major blow as Premier India pacer Jasprit Bumrah is likely to miss the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The star pacer has not played any competitive cricket since September 2022, and his injury appears to be more serious than it initially appeared and he could be out for a longer period than expected. There is even a possibility that Bumrah will not be fit for the World Test Championship (WTC) final in June if India managed to qualify as his recovery from the back injury continues to take time.
Sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the IPL circles have indicated that Bumrah has not been feeling comfortable and he is staring at a potentially long hiatus. Reports suggested that the target for the BCCI is to get him ready for the ODI World Cup in October-November, if not necessarily for the Asia Cup, wherever it is held. The right-arm bowler has been rehabilitating at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
For years, Mumbai Indians (MI) have been blessed to have a pacer of Bumrah’s unique talent. While most teams look to fill the pacers’ slot with overseas players, MI ensured that their bowling attack is built around the special talent of Bumrah. However, this time five-time champions would face a tough decision in replacing Bumrah in the playing XI, especially after releasing Jaydev Unadkat and Basil Thampi ahead of the 2023 auction.
Let us take a look at two young Indian pacers who can replace Bumrah in the MI’s squad. First comes Arjun Tendulkar, son of former legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Arjun did not play a single game for MI in 2022. But MI could keep their trust in Arjun after seeing his exploits in the 2022–23 domestic season for Goa. Not only will Arjun provide a left-handed seam bowling option, but he will also provide a reliable batting option. Arjun took 10 wickets in 7 games at an economy rate of 5.69 in last year’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament.
Second on the list is Arshad Khan, a left-handed pacer, who can swing his bat and score valuable runs lower down the order. Arshad is one of the hottest young players on MI’s roster, and he is the talk of the town after some impressive all-round performances in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.