Jasprit Bumrah’s absence will be a big blow for India in the T20 World Cup.© BCCI

Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson feels Mohammed Siraj can replace Jasprit Bumrah in the India squad if the star player is ruled out of the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup through injury. Bumrah missed the Asia Cup last month due to a back injury, which has also ruled him out of the ongoing T20I series against South Africa. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced that the star pacer is ruled out of the tournament and said a replacement would be announced “soon”.

Speaking in the latest episode of ICC Review, Watson said that if Bumrah is not available for the tournament, he would pick Siraj for the showpiece event Down Under.

Watson feels Siraj brings a lot of firepower, and offers pace and bounce, which will be crucial in Australian tracks.

“The player I would put in if Jasprit’s not available is Mohammed Siraj, because of the firepower he presents. Without Bumrah, that’s the one thing India won’t necessarily have, which is vital on Australian wickets on the bigger grounds with the pace and bounce. Siraj is great with the brand-new ball. He is fast, he swings the ball away but also his defensive skills are pretty good. And he’s got better over the last couple of years, with what we’ve seen in the IPL. So, for me he’s probably going to be the one who is going to have the most impact,” Watson said.

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However, Watson suggested that Bumrah’s absence might dampen India’s chances of lifting the T20 World Cup.

“Honestly, I think it’s going to have a huge impact on India’s chances of winning the T20 World Cup,” he added.

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