Ever since Jasprit Bumrah burst on to the scene with the Mumbai Indians, he has managed to impress one and all. An excellent stint in the IPL was followed by a National call up for the T20s and ODIs as he hasn’t looked back since.
He has spearheaded the Indian attack in limited overs cricket for the past couple of years and has won games for India from impossible situations.
After excellent and consistent performances in limited overs cricket, Bumrah has been finally called up for the Test squad and will be flying to South Africa for the 3 match test series in early January.
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Bumrah’s ability to bowl Yorkers at will has made him an irreplaceable asset in the India team. He has come up with some breathtaking performances with the white ball and will be hoping to carry on the same form in Test cricket.
Along with yorkers and slower balls, Bumrah has also added swing to his ammunition. This has made him a complete bowler, someone who instills fear in the opposition.
Bumrah has gained experience with the Red ball by playing in Ranji trophy and bowling long spells for Gujarat. He was instrumental in Gujarat’s championship winning season of 2016-17 picking up 89 wickets in 42 innings on flat barren pitches of India.
Ashish Nehra believes, Bumrah’s height will extract extra bounce on South African wickets and his awkward action will cause problems to the South African batsmen.
“He has the most lethal yorker among the five pacers along with good slower ones. Also, he has an awkward high-arm action, which can be very difficult to pick initially. All these factors work in Bumrah’s favour,” feels Nehra, who was a part of the India test squad in the 2001 test series.
Nehra added “Cape Town, during January, can get hot and the conditions may not be seam-friendly. Now if it becomes humid and the pitch is a flat one, then Bhuvneshwar may not get the desired swing and seam movement”.
Bhuvneshwar has been fantastic in conditions conducive to swing bowling but has failed to deliver on flat tracks.
While talking to the Deccan Herald Nehra said, “Jasprit Bumrah has performed wonderfully with the white Kookaburra ball.
The seam of the white and red ball is the same and when the seam is no longer pronounced, ones who can hit the deck hard get an advantage.”
Nehra said that the position of the third seamer is up for grabs and the selection of the third seamer would be a headache for the team management.
Nehra thinks Shami is a strike bowler and he is the first choice and would be partnered by Ishant Sharma. Ishant Sharma is an experienced campaigner and is always handy in fast bouncy conditions.
Nehra added that the choice of the third pacer would depend a lot on the conditions and the pitch. He said if there’s cloud cover and grass on the pitch then Bhuvi will get the nod.
He believes it’s a three way fight for the third seamer, with Bhuvi, Bumrah and Umesh Yadav in the reckoning. Umesh Yadav has been the key wicket taker in the home season and has delivered when the Indian team needed it the most.
With a lethal outswinger and good pace, Umesh will certainly be a threat in South Africa.
It will be a challenging tour for India. India has never managed to win a Test series in South Africa and will look forward to change this record.
Having had a flawless 2017, Virat and his team would certainly be in high spirits and ready to take the fight to the Proteas. It will be hard fought series to say the least.
“Obviously South Africa will come hard at us but this is a very balanced team. This is currently the best Indian team that had picked itself,” Nehra concluded.