IPL 2020: "Bumrah and Archer could stand up and be counted in any era", says Brian Lara 

Brian Lara hailed the two renowned quicks who have been absolutely brilliant in IPL 2020.

Jasprit Bumrah | IANS West Indies batting legend Brian Lara praised Mumbai Indians (MI) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) pace spearheads, Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer,  saying they would count among the finest pacemen that the game has seen. 

Despite Archer's brilliance, RR couldn't make it through to the playoffs. But the England fast bowler was absolute key to them even competing. He took 20 wickets in 14 innings while going at 6.56 runs per over without much support at the other end. 

Read Also: Rohit Sharma hails MI's "perfect" display in Qualifier 1 against DC

Bumrah, on the other hand, has picked up pace after initial inconsistency and now holds the Purple cap with 27 scalps from 14 games at an economy of 6.71. He has been extremely crucial to MI's entry into the final after topping the league stage points table. 

"I can only say this: Bumrah and Archer could stand up and be counted in any era of cricket," Lara told Hindustan Times. "Whether they were playing in the 2000s, 90s, 80s or even the 70s, they would be up there." 

"And I am not belittling anyone from the past. But these two would be in the echelons of fast bowling in any era I have watched, played in, or am still watching."

Specifically on Bumrah, Lara added, "I think I would’ve preferred facing Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath and Manoj Prabhakar rather than Bumrah (laughs). But yes, the challenge would have been exceptional."

"You know, back in my day you had someone like Makhaya Ntini, who had a similar sort of angle to his delivery. So, there can be some comparisons to people I played against. I know I would not have backed away."

Lara, who has been an expert in the IPL 2020 for host broadcaster 'Star Sports', also spoke on young batsmen playing T20 cricket and tweaking their techniques in order to succeed in the slam-bang version. 

The 'Prince of Trinidad' thinks that's a worry and such aspiring talents should look at India and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper, Virat Kohli, for inspiration. 

"The only negative (to T20 batting) is that there is not a lot of reliance on technique in the shorter format. So, with a wonderful player like Shubman Gill I am seeing some technical flaws coming in," he said. 

"I think it’s the natural progression of wanting to spank the ball. But then, a batsman like KL Rahul has kept his technique, and you can’t tell if he is playing a T20 or ODI or a Test match when he is batting. He is so well polished."

"Viral Kohli plays, and is successful, across all formats. You look at some guys who are playing in IPL, they haven’t played the longer format and their game is based around T20. But Virat cannot afford to change his style. He has a style, and he has to enhance it. He just knows in some games he has to score quicker than in others," Lara added. 

"So that’s my small worry. I know there is Ranji Trophy and 4-day cricket, but just don’t lose the fundamentals of the game. I remember when I started, I played 3 and 4-day games much more. And the one thing that helped me was I had played 25 ODIs before I played my first Test. Before that, I didn’t know how to hit a six! But by the time I got through 5-10 ODIs, I knew I had to learn to hit sixes, to find gaps, to score quickly."

"That transferred into my Test cricket, and made me a more aggressive Test cricketer, more exciting to watch. So, my foundation from 3-day-cricket and experience from ODI cricket was used to further my Test cricket, which was the right way of doing it."


By Kashish Chadha - 06 Nov, 2020

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