Jasprit Bumrah’s presence will make India favourites at World Cup: Curtly Ambrose

The India pacer has been out of action for nearly a year, but is believed to have returned to training at the NCA

With India playing the upcoming World Cup at home, there will be plenty of pressure on them. They won the tournament when they co-hosted in 2011 and will hope that their decade-long wait for an ICC trophy finally comes to an end in October-November this year. Former West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose believes Jasprit Bumrah’s inclusion will make India favourites to lift their third ODI World Cup. 

Bumrah has been out of action for almost a year now due to a back injury, but according to the latest update from the BCCI, he is currently training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru and also bowling quite a bit, which comes as terrific news for India.

“Jasprit is a fine bowler, and if he returns to the Indian team, it will add a lot of depth and variety to the Indian attack. And his presence in the World Cup will make India favourites,” Ambrose said in a chat with Economic Times.”

“He will bowl at the death, and that’s what you need. Having said that, a comeback is never easy. Jasprit should go a little slow in the early stages. If he starts to bowl full steam from the very first match, it isn’t the best way to go about. He should give himself time to get back to full pace and take it a little slow on his return. 

“That’s how he can get back to his best. However much he bowls in training, match situations are different and in matches, he shouldn’t rush himself to bowl like he used to. Once he has a few matches under his belt, he can do what he used to do before the injury.”

While Ambrose believes India certainly have a chance to win the World Cup at home, it will eventually come down to how they handle the pressure. 

“They surely have a chance. But there are other good teams as well. Australia, England, and Pakistan are some of them. The question is how well Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid will handle the pressure,” Ambrose, who has 630 wickets for the West Indies, said.

“At home, there will be pressure for India. There will be huge crowds in the stadiums. The media will be following every story. There will be a huge build-up to the event. How well you handle that pressure could define your campaign. If they handle it well and seek the positives out of it, there are reasons to believe India will do well in the World Cup. Rohit is a good captain, so there is every reason for you to be hopeful. It will not be easy, however. Winning a World Cup can never be easy, and India will need to play their best to do so.”

West Indies are not in good shape of late. They failed to qualify for the World Cup in India, which is a massive blow for the two-time champions. Ambrose feels their failure to nurture the game in many islands in the 80s and 90s has backfired, and the team is in dire straits now.

“We can all see that West Indies cricket is not in the best shape. And it has been the case for a while now. The problem is that when we were the best team in the world in the 1980s and early 1990s, we did not think of nurturing the game in the many islands. We did not do much to encourage our youngsters and develop them. We kept thinking we are the best and will keep producing one great player after another. It doesn’t happen like that. Today we are struggling because others have invested and have taken a giant leap ahead,” Ambrose explained.

However, after a long time, there was something to celebrate for the West Indies, as they pipped India by six wickets in the second ODI in Barbados on Saturday (July 29) to level the three-match series. They now have a chance to win the series if they beat India in the next game in Trinidad on Tuesday (August 1).

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