Michael Holding criticised Jasprit Bumrah's new ball bowling ability. However, after a five-wicket haul for the right-arm pacer against England in third Test fans raised questions on Holding's claim of Bumrah not being a new ball bowler.
Bumrah had a major role to play in wrapping up England batting line-up on 317 in a 521-run chase at Trent Bridge. He bagged 5/85 and took away host's hope of saving the match.
Refusing to change his words, Holding, in a chat with TOI, continued from what he had to last said about Bumrah. "I would still not have him (Bumrah) as my opening bowler. Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami do a bit more with the brand new ball and they will remain my opening bowlers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar's absence," he said.
The former West Indies fast bowler went on to say that he would not have let Bumrah bowl with new ball if he had played under him. "What I have seen is he can get the ball to straighten from wide of the crease and is more effective with the slightly older ball," Holding said.
The 64-year-old commentator isn't impressed with Bumrah's improvement as well. In fact, he feels the Indian pacer hasn't tried to develop an outswinger in Test since his debut in January this year. "What you have to remember is that in England, with so much assistance from both pitch and atmosphere for the quick bowlers, Bumrah will get the oddball to straighten on the right-handers' off-stump, although his action doesn't enhance his ability to do so. The same delivery in South Africa, Australia, etc would not straighten as it can tend to do in England. He has pace, though, which is a welcome asset that cannot be bought," added Holding who was nicknamed as "Whispering Death" during his time.