Having seen him dominate batsmen in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018, former great VVS Laxman has said that the admirable Jasprit Bumrah deserves high praise for his performance in the tough and challenging conditions in United Arab Emirates.
Bumrah, who returned to cricket after suffering a very untimely thumb injury in England, bowled really well in the recently concluded Test series there. Subsequently, he was rested for the match against Hong Kong. This is when one of India's premier fast bowlers got into his own and simply befuddled Bangladesh and Pakistani batsmen with his excellent defensive lengths and consistency at all times.
"No praise can be too high for how Bumrah has performed, in extreme heat." wrote VVS in his column for Times of India, "Temperatures have been hovering in the early 40s, but that hasn’t pegged him back. He has been pacy in his first spell and his last, and the way he has executed his yorkers, it has been a treat to watch." and added, "To keep bowling that length on a regular basis at the death is no easy task. It is a testament to his fitness, the long hours at practice and his confidence that Bumrah has seldom got it wrong,"
Specifically on Bumrah's pairing with the Bhuvneshwar Kumar, VVS feels, "Particularly impressive during this unbeaten march has been the bowling group with Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the forefront. There is no better dot ball in any form of the cricket than the one that comes with a wicket," he reiterated, "and this new-ball pairing has done the damage up front more often than not, immediately transferring the pressure on the opposition,"
VVS also noted on the overall balance which India has exhibited in the tournament so far. He feels that the injury to Hardik Pandya hasn't put the team off their ways, as Ravindra Jadeja has filled up the slot quite perfectly.
"The inclusion of Ravindra Jadeja has lent a new dimension to the bowling as well as the fielding. It means India now have five full-fledged bowlers, plus the option of Kedar Jadhav as a fallback." VVS wrote and opined, "When Hardik Pandya returns fit, the captain will have one more string to his bow, which will be crucial at the World Cup. White-ball cricket in England will require smart bowling, as the Champions Trophy showed last year,"
VVS also written in full praise of Rohit Sharma for his excellent captaincy in the competition and expressed, "I have great admiration for the way Rohit has led the side. While he has gone in with a game plan, he has showcased flexibility and the ability to think on his feet. His bowling changes have been steeped in logic, and he is unafraid to veer from the norm, for which he and the team have been amply rewarded."
"He and Shikhar Dhawan form a fearsome opening combine and feed off each other. Perhaps their brilliance had something to do with it, because I have never seen a more submissive Pakistan team previously in a contest against India than on Sunday night,"
Looking forward to India's last Super 4s game against Afghanistan before the final, VVS assessed, "India have been outstanding in the Asia Cup so far, their bowling penetrative, the batting muscular and Rohit Sharma’s captaincy inspiring," adding, "Having made it to the final with a match to spare, there will be no pressure on them when they face Afghanistan on Tuesday(September 25), but I expect no let-up in intensity from this fighting fit, highly motivated unit,"