Star Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah picked up a back injury during training on Tuesday that kept him out of India’s first T20I match against South Africa. Bumrah travelled to Bengaluru on Wednesday to undergo fresh scans on his back, and the results are awaited. Less than a day after the injury was reported, a BCCI source told PTI that the 28-year-old will not be a part of India’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.

Spearhead Bumrah’s injury comes as a massive blow to India bowling combination at the T20 World Cup, with the new ball as well as death bowler being key to India’s attack.

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“Bumrah is not going to play the World T20 for sure. He has a serious back condition. It’s a stress fracture and he could be out for a period of six months,” an anonymous BCCI official told PTI on Thursday.

Bumrah was part of the Indian team that faced Australia in September, however, did not travel with the Men in Blue to Thiruvananthapuram for the first T20I match. Buhrah had also missed the Asia Cup where India lost to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super Fours and were knocked out.

While the Indian bowling looked in perfect tandem against South Africa in the first T20I, their previous performances, especially against Pakistan in the Asia Cup and against Australia, raised concerns for India’s chances at the T20 World Cup.

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However, Mohammed Shami, who did not make India’s T20 World Cup squad, has tested negative for COVID-19, which ruled him out against Australia. India have two fast bowlers –Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar – in their reserves for the T20 World Cup. Teams that have already qualified for the Super 12 round of the tournament – as India have – can make changes to their squad without ICC permission till October 15.

In the previous edition of the T20 World Cup, India was handed a humiliating defeat against Pakistan and was knocked out of the tournament. However, the Men in Blue have looked much better in recent months, but the absence of Bumrah will hurt their chances once again.

The ICC T20 World Cup begins on October 16 in Australia.