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Shoaib Akhtar explains why Jasprit Bumrah’s action will invite injuries again and again

Shoaib Akhtar and Jasprit Bumrah

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Shoaib Akhtar explains why Jasprit Bumrah’s action will invite injuries again and again

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has cited Jasprit Bumrah‘s unusual bowling action and a lack of workload management as the reason for the Indian Speedster becoming injury-prone, saying that the amount of cricket he has played in the past few years has contributed to his recurring back injury. 

Bumrah has been sidelined since August 2022, missing multiple T20I series as well as the Asia Cup. He made a mini-comeback and featured in two T20Is against Australia, only to aggravate his injury and sit out the T20 World Cup.

“He has this front-on action and when he loads up before delivering the bowl he puts a lot of pressure on his spinal cord. We used to be side-on, and bowlers like me we could take help from our hips, thighs, from left hand as well and that used to compensate (for the pressure on the back). Unfortunately, Jasprit doesn’t have that leverage,” Akhtar told Sports Tak. Akhtar explained that a front-on action has no compensation and you can’t escape it when the back gives in. 

He also singled out the Indian team management for not being able to manage Bumrah’s workload, saying that his action was not sustainable enough for him to be a regular in all three formats as well as the Indian T20 league. 

Akhtar went on to suggest some measures to ensure Bumrah’s fitness, saying that he would have advised him to play three out of five ODIs and focus on the crucial ones if he had been in management.

He added that Bumrah’s action should not be changed because he had done so well with that action, and that more training and fewer matches would prolong his career. He recommended that he build more muscle in his back, concluding by wishing him a speedy recovery.

Back problems are a regular occurrence for Bumrah, who previously spent three months out in 2019-20 nursing a stress fracture in his lower back. Although his latest injury has seen him spend the longest spell on the sidelines in his career yet, the Indian team management is hopeful that he will be able to return to fitness for the ODI World Cup, which will be played in India in October-November this year.

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