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Ravi Shastri – Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja’s absence ‘an opportunity to unearth a new champion’ at T20 World Cup

Ravi Shastri believes that despite the injury-induced absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja, India has enough depth to win the T20 World Cup in Australia if they start the tournament well.

“[It’s] unhappy,” Shastri said of Bumrah’s injury at the launch of Continue coaching, his new initiative with Bharat Arun and R Sridhar, in Chennai. “So much cricket is played and people get injured. He’s injured, but it’s an opportunity for someone else. You can’t do anything with injuries.”

“I think we have enough strength and we have a good team. I have always believed that if you make it to the semi-finals it can be everyone’s tournament. The aim would be to start well, make it to the semi-finals and then you have enough power to probably win the [World] Head, for all you know. Bumrah is not there, Jadeja is not there – it hinders the side – but it is an opportunity to find a new champion.”

Former Indian bowling coach Arun, who is now with Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL as a bowling coach, was also optimistic about India’s chances at the T20 World Cup in Australia.

“India is expected to keep winning,” said Arun. “When they lose, people tend to criticize them. They show a lot of promise, especially during World Cup events, and the Australian conditions will suit them.”

After India won the T20I series against South Africa 2-1, India captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid hinted at Shami as a replacement for Bumrah, given his experience in Australian conditions. Shami has only raced a lone T20I in Australia but has been impressive in tests and ODIs on multiple tours around the country. He has taken 31 wickets in eight Tests to go with 22 wickets in 14 ODIs. Seventeen of those ODI wickets came in the 2015 50-over World Cup, where he was India’s second-highest wicket-taker and joint fourth-highest overall.

“Exactly, his experience [in Australian conditions is his strength]said Shastri of Shami. “India has been there a lot in the last six years and he has been an integral part of all those tours. So that experience [of having done well in Australia] counts.”

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India Women one step away from winning something big – Shastri

Shastri was also excited about the launch of the women’s IPL next year, saying India Women is just one step away from winning a world tournament and will create an impact similar to what India’s men did after winning the World Cup 1983.

“Fantastic [on the launch of the women’s IPL]’, he said. “They’re just that… [little] far from winning anything big. You see what happened to the men’s cricket team when they won the World Cup in ’83. So if the women win a World Cup, the interest that will be generated will be incredible. The more I see the Indian women play, they’re a lot more confident with the exposure they have, and they’re a lot more confident that they can really go far.”

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