Mumbai Indians (MI) have been dealt a significant blow ahead of the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League, as their star pacer, Jasprit Bumrah has reportedly been ruled out of the entire tournament due to his failure to recover from injury.
However, reports suggest that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not willing to take any chances with Jasprit Bumrah’s fitness and are therefore hesitant to include him in the Indian Premier League (IPL), as they want to ensure he is fully fit for a World Cup later this year.
After a disappointing season that saw them finish at the bottom of the points table, the five-time champions will be looking to bounce back this year and make a run for the title. As they prepare for a new season, here are three players who could potentially fill the void left by Jasprit Bumrah:
1. Sandeep Sharma
Despite being a highly talented pacer, the Chandigarh player failed to attract any bids during the IPL 2023 auction held in December, which came as a shock to many.
His exceptional skills with the new ball and ability to swing it have often kept the opposition batters on the back foot. Moreover, he also has a wealth of experience in the lucrative league, which makes him a valuable asset.
He has been a consistent performer over the years, having picked up 114 wickets in the lucrative league at an economy rate of 7.77. He could emerge as a viable replacement for Bumrah.
2. Dasun Shanaka
Sri Lanka’s white-ball captain has been in exceptional form lately, having topped the batting charts during their recent tour of India and the fact that he went unsold during the IPL auction has raised many eyebrows in the cricket fraternity.
There was a lot of buzz among fans about him being a potential injury replacement and a great addition to the tournament and this could be the perfect opportunity to unleash the Islander’s beast in the highly-anticipated league.
With his ability to swing the new ball and deliver exceptional performances at the death, he could play a crucial role for Mumbai Indians in the tournament. Furthermore, his batting prowess will provide the team with additional depth and flexibility.
With 176 matches played in the shortest format, Shanaka has proved to be a consistent performer with 3649 runs scored at a strike rate of 142.65. He has also taken 53 wickets with an economy rate of 8.72.
3. Varun Aaron
Despite setting his base price at INR 50 Lakh, Varun failed to find any buyers during the IPL 2023 auction. However, with MI currently in search of a potential replacement for Bumrah, this could be his big break to feature in the high-profile league once again.
He was a member of the Gujarat Titans team that won the IPL title last year, but his performance was lacklustre as he leaked over 10 runs per over and only managed to pick up 2 wickets in 2 matches. Later, he was dropped from the squad.
Aaron has already played 52 matches in the IPL, claiming 44 wickets along the way. Recently, he had an impressive showing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he took 9 wickets in just 5 matches. He could be a potential replacement for Bumrah.