India's T20 World Cup campaign has suffered a huge setback with spearhead Jasprit Bumrah ruled out of the tournament with a back injury.
The first reports of the fast bowler's injury emerged just before India's T20I series against South Africa began on September 28. Bumrah was rushed from Thiruvananthapuram, the venue of the first match, to Bengaluru, where the National Cricket Academy is located, so that he could be assessed by the BCCI's medical team.
Now, "following a detailed assessment and in consultation with the specialists," the board confirmed on Monday that Bumrah was out of the World Cup. Though the BCCI did not specify the nature of Bumrah's back injury, ESPNcricinfo understands that it is stress-related and he could be out of action for about six weeks.
Bumrah had previously missed the Asia Cup in August and September because of a stress reaction in his back but was then picked for the subsequent home T20I series against Australia and South Africa after four weeks of rehabilitation. He played the second and third T20Is against Australia on September 23 and 25, returning figures of 1/23 and 0/50, before missing the first match against South Africa on September 28.
"Jasprit Bumrah complained of back pain during India's practice session on Tuesday," the BCCI had said on Twitter after the toss of the first T20I against South Africa. "The BCCI Medical Team assessed him. He is ruled out of the first #INDvSA T20I."
The stress reaction that had forced Bumrah out of the Asia Cup was on the left side of his lower back but the latest injury, ESPNcricinfo has learned, is on the right side and hence not a recurrence of the previous issue. This stress-related injury is Bumrah's second such injury in the last three years. The fast bowler was diagnosed with a "minor stress fracture in his lower back" in September 2019 and was sidelined for about three months."
India have two fast bowlers - Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar - in their reserves for the T20 World Cup and one of them is likely to take Bumrah's place in the main squad, although Mohammed Siraj could also be a contender. Teams that have already qualified for the Super 12 round of the tournament - as India have - can make changes to their squad without ICC permission till October 15.
India are also waiting on the fitness of allrounder Deepak Hooda, who is part of the 15-member World Cup squad. Hooda is currently at the NCA for treatment for a back injury that he picked up during the T20I series against Australia last month. The BCCI has not revealed details about Hooda's injury or recovery.
India are in Group 2 at the T20 World Cup, along with Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh, and two teams that progress from the qualifying round. The side led by Rohit Sharma is looking to make a strong comeback at this year's event in Australia, after suffering a group-stage exit at the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE.
The squad is expected to fly to Perth on October 6 for a week-long conditioning camp, including a practice game against Western Australia. They will then take on New Zealand and Australia in two warm-up fixtures prior to their World Cup opener against Pakistan in Melbourne on October 23.
India T20 World Cup squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul (vice-capt), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh
Reserve players: Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar