India v Pakistan - ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024

The latest ICC T20I rankings are out, and quite counterintuitively, Jasprit Bumrah was not among the top 100 bowlers, generating a lot of surprising reactions. Here’s why Bumrah was ranked 111 as per the bowling rankings.

With two Player of the Match awards in India’s first two wins in the ongoing World Cup, Bumrah has been a class above the rest. Against Pakistan, he helped India pull off a heist, recording their lowest ever successfully defended total (119) in a T20I. He bowled 15 dot balls to register figures of 3-14, restricting Pakistan to 113-7. 

However, to the shock of many, the latest players’ rankings in the format saw Bumrah, who once used to reign the chart, at 111th (though he has since jumped to 69th). Here are the reasons behind it:

How the ICC ranking works

Cricketers lose ratings if they miss matches. Between September 25, 2022 and the start of the 2024 T20 World Cup, India played 42 T20Is, of which Bumrah has played only two, so it was expected of him to lose ratings. 

Bumrah is prone to injuries

One of the best all-format bowlers going around currently, if not the best, Bumrah is used by India judiciously. Given his unorthodox catapult-like action, Bumrah was forced to spend quite some time on the sidelines because of his history of back injuries.

He was ruled out for three months in 2019 with a minor stress fracture, but in 2022, he underwent surgery for a lower back stress fracture. Just before his return, he suffered a strain, forcing him to miss 10 months of action. He went on to miss the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup that year.

Bumrah marked his return in August 2023 and has been breathing fire since then. Across the three formats, he has taken 68 wickets in 27 games. Only Shaheen Shah Afridi has more wickets – 71 – but from 36 matches.

India preserve Bumrah for the big stage

Over the years, India managed Bumrah's workload by mostly limiting his usage to high-profile overseas tours in SENA countries and home series. He hardly plays home series, especially Tests because India's spinners mostly call the shots with the red ball.

Bumrah was in the top 15 until the end of the 2021 T20 World Cup, which he was a part of. Since then, he has just played nine T20Is, of which four came in nearly two years.

Although that's partly to be blamed on his fitness, another reason for his sporadic participation is India’s attempt to infuse young blood in the shortest format for some time. They have restricted Bumrah to Test matches against major nations and the World and Asia Cups.

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