Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna have made a successful return from long injury layoffs in the ongoing T20I series against Ireland, which has also earned them a call-up for the Asia Cup to be held in Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
“It’s good news (for the Indian team) that both Bumrah and Krishna are looking fit and right now, you know, are playing in Ireland. They are in for Asia Cup and hopefully for the World Cup too they should be 100% fit and available. That makes a very formidable pace attack and along with that of course we have Mohammed Siraj and Shami,” Ghavri told IANS in an interview on the sidelines of the CEAT Cricket Rating Award here on Monday.
Ghavri felt the spin department does not seem as healthy as the fast bowlers.
“So, the fast-bowling attack is quite good we are probably a little bit lacking in the spin department where we have, you know, (some problems). I don’t know whether they are going to consider Ravichandran Ashwin or not. But accept Ravindra Jadeja and maybe Kuldeep Yadav or (Yuzvendra) Chahal, we don’t have much choice as far as the spinners are concerned. But when it comes to fast bowlers, we have quite a few guys available. Since Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna are available, I think that makes for a formidable pace attack,” said the 72-year-old Rajkot-born left-arm pacer who played 39 Tests and 19 ODIs mostly as Kapil Dev’s partner as opener bowler.
Asked what combination would he opt for considering India hosting the World Cup and the pitches are expected to do a bit for the spinners, Ghavri said he would have preferred for BCCI to have announced the squad for the World Cup, to be held in October-November, at least a couple of months ahead of the event.
“Actually, I am I’m quite surprised, I mean most of the countries, you know, they have already announced the teams for the World Cup. We have today announced the squad for the Asia Cup. I think, for the World Cup, they should have announced the team much earlier so that at least the players get mentally prepared for the big event. They would go into the event fitter as they would require a lot of time to prepare themselves physically as well as mentally. It’s a mental game more so you know and we don’t know who’s going to be in the World Cup squad. So everybody is left hanging at the moment,” Ghavri said.
“According to me, they should have really selected the team at least a month or month-and-a-half ago for the World Cup at least. At least, the players would have known who are in the squad and they can prepare themselves,” he added.
Asked what combination would he take into the World Cup — three spinners, two pacers or two spinners, three pacers, Ghavri said two spinners are good enough.
“Well, two spinners are good enough and with two fast bowlers, one fast-bowler-batsman (allrounder),” he added.
The middle order is proving a matter of concern for the team management, considering Shreyas Iyer and K.L Rahul are coming back for an injury break, Ghavri said the selectors should give more opportunities to Suryakumar Yadav, even though he has not capitalised on the opportunities he has got so far in ODIs.
Ghavri said that though Iyer and Rahul’s fitness is to be tested in match conditions considering they are coming back from injury, Suryakumar and Tilak Varma are the best options available.
“Suryakumar is definitely the best option we have. he’s got class and that never fades. Okay, he had a bad series in West Indies and didn’t get many runs, but I am very sure he will strike at the right time. He is a class player, he is a class act so I am sure he will be a great asset to the team,” said Ghavri.
Asked to assess India’s chances in the World Cup, Ghavri said the Men in Blue should reach the last-four stage and take things as they come after that.
“I personally feel they would reach the last four, after that it is very difficult to predict. Right now, the way England is playing, they have a very, very good team; Australia have a very good team. Pakistan has a very good team and India, I think, will be in the final four. To predict the final two is very difficult as it could be anybody’s game because you know it will be a fight between the Titans,” the former India pacer signed off.