Mumbai: Jasprit Bumrah’s searing pace for Mumbai Indians against Kolkata Knight Riders might not have earned the five-time IPL champions victory Monday night, but the five-wicket haul would have made the selectors aware of the importance of the 28-year-old cricketer as India aim to salvage their pride and much more in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
Bumrah on Monday reminded everyone just how good he is at the IPL, though his performance has come a bit late in the day as Mumbai Indians are out of contention for the this year’s title. The pace bowler had superb figures of 5/10 from four overs for Mumbai Indians during their loss to KKR and the right-armer now has 10 wickets for the tournament.
His figures were the second best in a losing side in IPL history, sitting just behind the 6/19 Australia spinner Adam Zampa managed for Rising Pune Supergiants way back in 2016. If Bumrah can continue that kind of form then he could propel India to glory at the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
The other player the India selectors would be watching closely in the run-up to the mega event is opener KL Rahul. The Lucknow Super Giants skipper has amassed 451 runs in IPL 2022 so far, the most by any Indian player at the IPL this season.
However, Punjab Kings player Shikhar Dhawan (381) is not far behind and must still harbour aspirations of making the trip to Australia for the T20 World Cup later this year.
A handful of other batters jostling to make the trip have also impressed, with Hardik Pandya (333 runs for Gujarat Titans) and Shreyas Iyer (336 runs for Kolkata Knight Riders) also inside the top 10 for most runs at the tournament.
Veterans Virat Kohli (216 runs for Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Rohit Sharma (200 runs for Mumbai Indians) have been performing below their high high standards, while Rishabh Pant (281 runs for Delhi Capitals) has looked good at times.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal remains the leading wicket-taker at the tournament with 22 scalps, with left-armer Kuldeep Yadav (18 wickets for Delhi Capitals at 19.55) and experienced seamer T. Natarajan (17 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad at 17.82) not far behind.
Based on current form, most of these players should make the grade for the ICC T20 World Cup, but with the tournament a good six months away, and injuries and form being a part and parcel of the game, the selectors would perhaps like to wait and watch rather than pass a judgement on the basis of IPL performances.