India head coach Rahul Dravid on Saturday said that the team management “will always be hopeful” that Jasprit Bumrah could recover from his injury in time for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Bumrah’s back injury ruled him out of the ongoing T20I series against South Africa, raising questions about whether he will play in the upcoming World Cup in Australia. It was due to the same injury that Bumrah missed the Asia Cup. Although he returned in the T20I series against Australia and played two games, he had missed the first game because he experienced back pain during the practice session as well.

“Till I get official confirmation that he is ruled out (of the T20 World Cup), we will always be hopeful,” said Dravid in the press conference ahead of India’s second T20I against South Africa.

“We will always hope for the best not just for us as a team, but also just as individuals, we will always hope for the best for the remainder of the matches. We have been told that his injury is not looking good at the moment and it looks like he won’t be travelling to Australia with the Indian team. The medical team will soon submit a detailed report.

He added: “Bumrah is a very important player. The way he has performed over the last few years has been fantastic. He is an attacking bowler and if such a bowler isn’t a part of the team, it doesn’t go well for the team,”

While the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Friday announced Mohammad Siraj as his replacement for the T20Is against South Africa, there is no confirmation about the same for the World Cup. With premier off-spinner Ravindra Jadeja also recovering from a knee injury, India missing out on their premier fast-bowler will be a big blow.

Talking about the same, Dravid said, “So as of now, (Bumrah) officially has been ruled out from this series against South Africa. He has gone to the NCA. And we are waiting for the official confirmation on the next steps. So, as of now officially he is only out of this series, but we’ll see what happens over the next few days. And, and once we get some official confirmation, then we’ll be able to share that,”

He added: “I honestly haven’t gone deeply into the medical reports. I mean, I rely on the experts to tell me what is happening. He is being assessed. And we’ll know in due course.”

In order to prepare for Jadeja and Bumrah’s abscence for the World Cup, the Indian think-tank is testing out different team combination and skill-sets in different conditions. With Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar already getting game time, Siraj and Mohammad Shami are also in the mix and in contention to take the spot, should Bumrah be officially ruled out.

Dravid said, “I think, in terms of the skills in the squad, everyone being fit from here on, I think we’re quite comfortable that we’ve got all the skills that will allow us to play different combinations and different kinds of XIs based on the different wickets that we might get in Australia and the different oppositions.”

He added: “I mean obviously, over the last few series, we probably haven’t been able to play that squad due to a variety of reasons, and that can happen, but I think that most of the guys in the 15 now have had a pretty decent amount of cricket, at least in the last six months here.”

Quotes courtesy: PTI