Former Pakistan captain Younis Khan believes that Team India has been significantly hurt by the loss of spearhead seamer Jasprit Bumrah in the upcoming Asia Cup 2022, starting Saturday in Dubai.
The senior fast bowler who last played in the England ODI series, and was then later rested for the West Indies and Zimbabwe tours, has been dealing with a back niggle since, failing to recover from which he was ruled out of the continental tournament.
Jasprit Bumrah will need to do rehabilitation work at the NCA in Bangalore before being deemed fit for the white-ball home series against Australia and South Africa, in September-October. India will also be without Harshal Patel in the Asia Cup 2022 as the seamer has been ruled out due to a side injury.
Absence of Jasprit Bumrah an advantage to Pakistan?
Many fans have been labelling Bumrah’s absence as a blessing and advantage to the Pakistani batters. However, Younis Khan asserted that it is the Indian team who are more affected by the absence of their star fast bowler.
“More than Bumrah’s absence being Pakistan’s advantage, I think India will be affected more. They’ll be missing one of their match-winners,” Younis told The Telegraph.
Speaking of the batting comparison between the two teams, Younis Khan, who led Pakistan to victory in the 2009 T20 World Cup, added that India have better finishers than Pakistan lower down the batting order.
“If we analyse the lower-order batting and finishing abilities of batsmen in both teams, India have an edge. Pakistan have a solid top order, but their lower order has few finishers or hard-hitters as compared to India.”
Pakistan themselves will also be without their own superstar fast bowler, Shaheen Afridi, who was last week ruled out of the tournament owing to a knee injury that he’d sustained while fielding in a Test match vs Sri Lanka.
This must surely come as a slight relief for the Indian fans and the Indian batters, especially the top-order, after Afridi’s scintillating individual match-winning display against them in the T20 World Cup last year in the UAE. Afridi accounted for the wickets of all of India’s top three: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, paving way for Pakistan’s 10-wicket win and their first over India in World Cups.
Here are the squads of India and Pakistan:
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan. Standbys: Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir.