R Ashwin drops major spoiler on Jasprit Bumrah’s chances of playing World Cup 2023 amid reports of Asia Cup return

R Ashwin drops major spoiler on Jasprit Bumrah’s chances of playing World Cup 2023 amid reports of Asia Cup return

With each passing day, the mystery surrounding Jasprit Bumrah’s road to recovery and his impending Team India return is only getting deeper. Last week, it was reported that Bumrah’s rehab at the National Cricket Academy after undergoing surgery for a stress fracture in the back was going as per schedule as he could be back in action as soon as the Ireland T20Is in August. Two days later, news emerged that Bumrah was bowling 7 overs a day at the NCA and is lined up to play a few practice games even though his comeback was far off. The bittersweet update was only beginning to settle in before another cracking development on Bumrah came as a pleasant surprise – he is set to play the Asia Cup in September, and on Thursday, more good news was on its way when Ravichandran Ashwin spilled the beans on the India pacer’s return.

Did Ravichandran Ashwin spill the beans on Jasprit Bumrah’s India comeback?(Getty Images)

While addressing the World Cup 2023 fixtures that were announced Tuesday and predicting what is in store for India’s matches against various opponents, Ashwin namedropped Bumrah is easily the biggest positive update. While talking about the India vs Pakistan match scheduled to take at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium, Ashwin’s Bumrah spoiler will surely come as music to every Indian cricket fan’s ears.

“The last few games between India and Pakistan in the ICC events have been extraordinary to say the least. I think we can expect another blockbuster India-Pakistan game,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel. “It’s going to be a very equally-balanced game because Pakistan also have a quality seam attack. For India, obviously, we are expecting Bumrah, maybe even Prasidh… all these guys to be fit. I don’t know what the combination is going to look like but all in all, a great contest on hand.”

Bumrah has missed all three India vs Pakistan T20Is from last year – two during the Asia Cup and one at the T20 World Cup, but provided he is fit for the Asia Cup, will surely play the three IND-PAK matches scheduled to take place this year. Despite three and a half months to go for the World Cup, the mother of all battles is already proving to be a sold out, with hotels in Ahmedabad already booked in advance and tickets expected to sell like hotcakes once the window opens. Ashwin too is equally excited.

“The game I want to talk about is the one against Pakistan at Ahmedabad on October 15. Of course, it’s going to be a sell-out. 130000 will be the capacity audience at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Even in the 2011 World Cup, Ahmedabad had happy memories at Ahmedabad. The same venue was called the Motera Stadium back then where he played our quarter-final against Australia and beat them. We qualified for the semifinal against Pakistan and went on to win that World Cup,” added Ashwin.

“But from the Narendra Modi Stadium, we have some learning lessons from this year’s IPL and some ODIs at this venue. From IPL, we know that this is Shubman Gill’s home venue and he loves batting there. So he is really going to relish the game. During the IPL, the ball swung especially during the second innings of the game. Both Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya have enjoyed bowling here. Even Prasidh enjoyed bowling here during an ODI against West Indies. We defended 240-odd I think and ended up winning that game. So there has been a bit of lift and carry during the night. We are playing against Pakistan so I don’t know how to weigh in the toss factor here. In other venues, we can choose to bowl first due to the dew but Ahmedabad is more of a catch-22 situation.”

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