A back injury followed by a surgery has ruled out the recuperating Bumrah from the upcoming season, which will be the first instance in 10 years that the right-arm fast bowler will miss an IPL edition.
“Regarding Bumrah’s replacement, we’ve been discussing a few options. Hopefully, we can close it down in the next couple of days and then we see how we will go about it,” Rohit said in the pre-season press conference.
“We have been talking about Bumrah. He is a big miss. Jasprit Bumrah’s role was quite important for Mumbai Indians, it’s a big shoe to fill. But it gives…an opportunity to the youngsters in the team to showcase their talent. We have a couple of guys who have been with this team for the last few years. They are very much ready to take the centrestage and hopefully (we) can blood in some youngsters,” he added.
With no Bumrah and Jhye Richardson, Mumbai’s fast-bowling stocks are thin; but the presence of England pacer Jofra Archer is something which has delighted Rohit.
Archer had missed last year’s season due to elbow and back injuries.
“Jofra was always part of this team. Last year, he was, but was injured. We all know the quality he has. But we will sadly miss Bumrah this season. But again, a lot of opportunities are up for grabs, and if someone’s missing out, then someone can fill in that place,” the MI skipper said.
“We do understand how big a miss Bumrah is, but a lot of younger players will get their opportunity and this is the platform for all the young players to come out and express themselves,” he added.
Mark Boucher, the head coach of Mumbai, is hopeful that Archer and young bowlers in the side will shine in Bumrah’s absence.
“Our bowling attack is quite exciting for me. I would say it’s of an unknown quantity. Losing Bumrah is a big blow for us; I will be honest with that. But losing a player means sometimes you get opportunities. The way the side has picked players in the last few years is to have a couple of players who can be back-ups and be the ones for future,” Boucher said.
“Now is the time for those youngsters to show up and grab their opportunities. For me, from a bowling point of view for this IPL season, we have got the experience and we have got the juniors to really show their skills. Jofra’s been playing recently. Hopefully, he can kick-start the IPL with a bang,” he added.
Amongst the young bowlers, there is left-arm pace all-rounder Arjun Tendulkar, who is yet to play in the IPL.
“Arjun is playing good cricket in recent times. He was injured but today he will start bowling,” said Rohit on him.
Boucher, too, agreed with Rohit’s views.
“Arjun has been playing good cricket for some time. He is bowling well, we are thinking that he will be in the playing XI this year.”
Five-time champions MI’s opening game will be an away fixture on April 2 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
(With agency inputs)