Jasprit Bumrah has established himself as a dominant force in international cricket, wreaking havoc on top-quality batting line-ups and making his presence felt on the cricket field. With 70 wickets in 60 T20Is at an economy of 6.62, Bumrah's performance is nothing short of phenomenal, especially since he often bowls during the fag end of innings.
Bumrah has also been a valuable player for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), taking 145 wickets in 120 matches at an economy of 7.39. However, the 29-year-old is expected to miss the upcoming IPL season due to a recurring back injury that has kept him sidelined from competitive cricket since September 2022. Despite initial hopes that he would recover in time for IPL 2023, Bumrah is now unlikely to play in the cash-rich league and may even miss the probable 2021-23 World Test Championship final in June.
With Bumrah out of action, many are wondering who will replace him in the Mumbai Indians squad. Here are five players who could fill the void left by the ace pacer.
Shashank Singh is a reliable all-rounder in the Indian domestic circuit, with impressive stats to back up his performance. In 23 List-A matches, the 31-year-old has scored 536 runs at a strike rate of 99.25 and taken 22 wickets at an economy of 5.52.
His all-round ability is not limited to List-A matches, as he has also showcased his skills in the shortest format of the game. In 48 T20s, Shashank has scored 536 runs at a strike rate of 140.68 and taken 10 wickets at an economy of 8.38. He even made an impact in the IPL 2022 season, scoring 69 runs in 10 games for Sunrisers Hyderabad at a strike rate of 146.81.
Given his ability to contribute in both batting and bowling, Shashank could be a valuable asset to the Mumbai Indians squad. The team currently lacks multi-faceted players, making Shashank's inclusion an attractive prospect for the upcoming IPL season.
Since his debut in 2021, Mohit Avasthi has been a standout performer in the domestic cricket arena, taking 37 wickets at an average of 27.59 in 13 first-class games and 17 scalps in 12 List-A games at an economy of 5.50. He continued his excellent form in the 2022 season of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, taking 10 wickets in seven games for Mumbai at an economy of 7.88. In the recently concluded Ranji Trophy, Avasthi impressed further, claiming 21 wickets in seven matches.
Given his current form, Mumbai may consider including the 30-year-old right-arm pacer in their squad for the upcoming season, as his inclusion would also bring a local touch to the team. Thus, Avasthi could be a valuable addition to Mumbai's bowling unit.
Basil Thampi, a consistent performer in Indian domestic cricket, has taken 102 wickets in 45 first-class matches at an average of 30.82 and 41 scalps in 31 List-A games at an economy of 5.36. Despite his mediocre performance in the 2022 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Mumbai Indians, where he took five wickets in five games but conceded runs at an economy of 9.50, Thampi may still be considered by the franchise as a replacement for the injured Jasprit Bumrah in the upcoming 16th IPL edition. Thampi's versatility in bowling at any phase of the game makes him a valuable addition to any team. Therefore, there is a possibility of seeing Thampi in a Mumbai Indians jersey once again.