India speedster Jasprit Bumrah has come a long way after making his debut in January 2016. After establishing himself as a leading white-ball fast bowler, Bumrah received his dream Test cap during the South Africa tour earlier this year.
Featuring in his maiden Test series, Bumrah claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in the third Test at Wanderers and led a foundation for India’s historic 63-run victory over the Proteas in January. The 24-year-old scalped 14 wickets at an average of 25.21 during the hard-fought Test series that the Virat Kohli and company lost by 2-1.
Having suffered a thumb injury during the T20I series against Ireland in June, Bumrah was unable to take part in last month’s limited-overs series against England. Although he was picked in the India squad for the first three Tests against England, he couldn’t clear the fitness hurdle in the first two Tests that India lost by 31 runs and an innings and 159 runs.
Ahead of the third Test in Nottingham, Bumrah has been deemed fit and available for selection. Having played alongside Bumrah in the IPL for Mumbai Indians, New Zealand paceman Mitchell McClenaghan is confident that the right-arm pacer will replicate his stellar white-ball performances in Test cricket.
“Having spent the last four years with Bumrah, watching him in the nets and seeing the skills he possesses, it was never a question of ‘if’ Jasprit would play Test cricket but a question of ‘how many?’. Bumrah is class, pure and simple,” McClenaghan quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“I don’t think there will be any issue with his transition to the longer format and knowing Bumrah well, he’ll be doing everything he can to consistently play Tests, he absolutely loves that format. The tricky part will be making a transition from white ball to red ball quickly as there is not a lot of gap between formats and the skills are generally quite different,” he added.
Even though India’s batting line-up failed to live up to the expectations, bowlers came to the party once again. Continuing where they left off in South Africa, Indian bowlers claimed 20 English wickets in the first Test at Edgbaston.
“The crop of Indian fast bowlers coming through and the balance they have in their attack is good enough for any condition. Typically, the Dukes ball swings a lot more than any other cricket ball and all of the Indian attack can move the ball in the air. It also helps that you now have guys like Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah who can move it at great pace,” McClenaghan remarked.
The Kiwi pacer also shared views on his Mumbai Indians pal Hardik Pandya, who is India’s second-highest run-getter in the England Test series so far.
“Hardik has done really well for India to date and won some crucial matches by himself with bat and ball, which is what you expect from your No.1 all-rounder. Again, after spending quite a bit of time with Hardik and watching him train, I can’t help but feel that we haven’t seen half the talent he possesses at the international stage, which is really scary for opposing teams!” McClenaghan opined.
“It’s great for India to have someone who can, on his day, be a world beater with bat and ball as it gives your side a great balance and particularly in ODI cricket leading up to a World Cup, it gives the team so many options as Hardik is proficient in both skills,” he concluded.