'Eleven months is long time but...': Australia legend's no-nonsense statement on Bumrah's long-awaited comeback

By, New Delhi
Aug 08, 2023 10:07 AM IST

The legendary Australian pacer feels Jasprit Bumrah can make an instant impact for Team India despite missing the entire home season.

Brimming with confidence as the hosts of the showpiece event, Rohit Sharma's Team India will enter the ICC World Cup 2023 as favourites if pace ace Jasprit Bumrah regains his form in the lead-up to the ICC event. A fit-again Bumrah has returned to the Indian side for the upcoming white-ball series between India and Ireland. The returning fast bowler will not only stage his comeback but the star pacer is also appointed as the leader of the Rohit-less side for the Ireland series.

India's Jasprit Bumrah sits on the fence during the match (Reuters)
India's Jasprit Bumrah sits on the fence during the match (Reuters)

Bumrah will lead the second-string side in India's tour to the United Kingdom before headlining the Asia Cup 2023. It has been almost a year since Bumrah played international cricket for the two-time world champions. One of the finest pacers in world cricket, speedster Bumrah last played for India in September 2022 against Australia. The 29-year-old missed several high-profile series and tournaments due to a recurring back injury. With Bumrah raring to get back to his best, legendary Australian pacer Glenn McGrath is optimistic about the star pacer making an instant impact for the Men In Blue in his comeback season.

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Layoff will help Bumrah

“It depends on how the injury is and the sort of expectations he has. I think he will be fine since he is a quality bowler. The layoff will help him, I think. Fast bowlers need that layoff and time to get the strength back in their bodies. It depends on the work he has done off the field, how his back is and if he has done anything to his action. I think he has been there before and he has achieved it,” McGrath said in a media interaction while visiting the MRF Pace Foundation academy in Chennai on Monday.

Bumrah underwent surgery in New Zealand in March and spent more than two months at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) before returning to the Indian side for the Ireland series. In the lead-up to his first match of the 2023 season, Bumrah has played a few practice games at the NCA. "I haven't seen him bowl. So, time will tell. Only he knows where he is now. So, I will be watching him keenly to see him get back to where he was. The effort and energy he puts in takes a toll on the body. If he has put enough work on the field, I can't see a reason why he cannot go back to being where he previously was," said McGrath, who bagged 949 international wickets for Australia.

Bumrah has enough games before World Cup to test himself

Besides Bumrah, young pacer Prasidh Krishna has also returned to the Indian side for the United Kingdom tour. The youngster had also undergone surgery after a lumbar stress fracture. Stand-in skipper Bumrah will be assisted by his deputy Ruturaj Gaikwad, who will lead a second-string Team India at the Asian Games. "He's got enough experience. He has enough games before the World Cup to test himself. Eleven months is a long time out of the game, but if you are coming off an off-season and you want to get into it, hopefully, that only takes a few games. Back when I played, we had an off-season. A break of two or 11 months doesn't make much of a difference. It's just about getting back into the swing," McGrath added.

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