India must brave the loss of Jasprit Bumrah to end the trophy drought at the T20 World Cup

India are under pressure to win their first global title since 2013 at the T20 World Cup in Australia, but they must do so without injured tempo bowler Jasprit Bumrah. Rohit Sharma’s side open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 23 in Melbourne in a highly-anticipated clash that could set the tone for their tournament. India, at the top, recently won the T20 series at home against Australia and South Africa and have been the team to beat in one-on-one competitions.

Along with England and hosts and defending champions Australia, they are considered World Cup favorites.

But India have not won a world title since the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy and have struggled through international tournaments, failing to reach the semi-finals of last year’s World Cup and missing out on the final of the recent Asian Cup.

The pressure is on in the cricket-mad nation and batsman Sunil Gavaskar is helping them deliver and win the T20 World Cup for the second time after winning their first title in 2007.

“It’s a great team with an ideal mix of youth and experience and with a bit of luck they can take the trophy home,” the former captain wrote in the Times of India newspaper.

However, there are concerns.

India’s “death” bowling in the late innings remains a concern after they conceded more than 200 runs in the final overs of their three T20 games against South Africa on home soil.

Senior pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has struggled in the absence of pace spearhead Bumrah, who was sidelined with a back injury. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja also didn’t make it into the squad with a knee injury.

Standby sailors are expected to replace Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar Bumrah, joining a pace brigade that includes Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel and all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

Head coach Rahul Dravid supported his bowlers to do well in Australia.

“We definitely have faith in the guys. I mean, the kind of group we’re going to take to Australia, they all did well in death,” Dravid said.

“It’s just a matter of getting us all together and hopefully performing in Australia.”

The team traveled to Perth on October 6 and will play two warm-up games against the hosts and New Zealand before the tournament opener against Pakistan.

India is in Group 2 of the World Cup with Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa and two other teams who will qualify via the first round.

Kohli is getting in shape

Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin and Deepak Hooda will be India’s options for Spin, which will be key on Australia’s courses.

“Guys need a lot more clarity about what they’re trying to achieve and it’s my job to make sure that happens,” said skipper Rohit.

“A lot of the guys have never been to Australia, so we wanted to leave early. Play on some bouncy fields in Perth and see what we can do there.”

India’s punching power is looking good after Virat Kohli returned to form at last month’s Asian Cup when he smashed his first T20 Century.

Kohli seems to have found his mojo after a prolonged slump, also hitting an unbeaten 49 of 28 balls in South Africa’s second T20.

Suryakumar Yadav was also in terrific form and the big hitter amassed 119 runs with a strike rate of 195.08 to beat the South African bowlers in the series.

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Rohit, vice-captain KL Rahul, Pandya and Dinesh Karthik – on the team as finisher specialists – were also in ominous form.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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