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Rohit Sharma: Saving Bumrah's career more important than this T20 World Cup

India captain believes "everything is looking good" as far as Bumrah's replacement Shami is concerned

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
Saving Jasprit Bumrah's career was far more important than risking him at the 2022 T20 World Cup, India captain Rohit Sharma said at the pre-tournament press conference in Melbourne.
Bumrah is out of the tournament due to a back injury that potentially rules him out of action for at least six more weeks. It's the latest injury in a series of long-standing problems India's pace spearhead has had in recent times.
"We spoke to a lot of the specialists about his injuries, but we did not get a decent response," Rohit said. "This World Cup is important, but his career is more important. He is only 27-28, there is a lot of cricket in front of him.
"So, we can't take such a risk. All the specialists we spoke to were of the same opinion. There is a lot of cricket ahead of him, he will play a lot more and help India win matches. There is no doubt that he will be missed."
Bumrah's spot has now been taken up by Mohammed Shami, who is coming back from three months of no cricket, having last played competitive cricket on the tour of England in July. He was part of India's T20I series against Australia and South Africa but was withdrawn after testing positive for Covid-19.
"When it comes to injuries, we have done a lot with regard to player management in the last one year, but these things happen, and there is not much you can do about it."
Rohit Sharma
Shami has recovered from Covid and passed a series of fitness and cardiovascular tests before getting on the plane to Australia last week. He is set to have his first training session in the country on Sunday along with the rest of India's squad. Looking ahead, Rohit believes "everything is looking good" as far as the fast bowler is concerned.
"Shami was down with Covid-19 two-three weeks back, he was at home, in his farm," Rohit said. "He was then called over to the National Cricket Academy, he went there and worked quite hard over the last 10 days. His recovery after Covid was very good. He had three to four bowling sessions. All in all, everything is good as far as Shami is concerned."
The Indian team has just wrapped up their week-long camp in Perth where they trained and played in two warm-up games against a Western Australia XI. The caravan now moves to Brisbane, where India is slated to have a training session on Sunday, followed by two warm-ups, against Australia and New Zealand on October 17 and 19.
"We have our practice session in Brisbane tomorrow," Rohit said. "He [Shami] will practice with the team. Whatever we have heard about Shami so far, is very positive. Injuries are part and parcel of the sport, there is nothing much that can be done about it. When you play so many games, injuries are bound to happen. Our focus in this last year was that we should build our bench strength.
"When it comes to injuries, we have done a lot with regard to player management in the last one year, but these things happen, and there is not much you can do about it. Our focus in the last year was to get the players in the queue ready, and give them opportunities. We know injuries can happen anytime, so our constant focus was to give the players in the waiting enough games and back them.
"The bowlers that have come to the World Cup, they have played a lot of matches. And this was our focus. I think we have received success."

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo