• Thursday, December 01, 2022

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Jasprit Bumrah’s back will break in a year: When Shoaib Akhtar made prophetic statement on India pacer

Jasprit Bumrah in action (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

India’s mission to bring the T20 World Cup back home received a massive blow on Thursday (29) when its premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out of the tournament with a suspected back stress fracture. The 28-year-old, who captained India in a Test match in England in July, has managed to play only 15 international matches this year and had just made a comeback into the national side in the recently concluded T20 international series against Australia at home.

He could not take part in the first T20 match against South Africa in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, on Wednesday (28) and was ruled out of the big tournament starting in Australia next month the very next day.

Social media was flooded with posts related to the injury of Bumrah, who has been India’s spearhead over the last few years. And among them was circulating an old video of former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar who made almost a prophetic statement that Bumrah’s action could leave him with a broken back in a year if he was not used judiciously.

Speaking to Indian channel Sports Tak a year ago, Akhtar gave a technical explanation.

“His (Bumrah’s) bowling is based on frontal action. Players with that action bowl with their backs and shoulder speed. We used to be side-on, and that used to compensate (for the pressure on the back). Front-on action has no compensation and with that action, when the back gives in, you can’t escape it irrespective of how much you try,” he said.

The Rawalpindi Express gave the examples of former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop and former New Zealand pacer Shane Bond to say that India couldn’t afford to play Bumrah in all three formats.

“I saw [Ian] Bishop’s struggling with his back, Shane Bond too, and both had frontal actions. Bumrah now needs to think in this way, ‘I played a match, took an off, and go to rehab’. He needs to manage. If you play him every match, in one year, he will completely break down. Play him three matches out of five and take him out. Bumrah will have to manage this one thing if he wants to last forever,” he added.

The video was reshared and fans praised Akhtar for accurately predicting Bumrah’s injury-prone action.

Besides Akhtar, former West Indies pace bowler Michael Holding also feared that Bumrah was always a candidate for back injuries.

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