Wasim Akram advices Jasprit Bumrah to play County Cricket

Akram feels Bumrah should skip this year's IPL to feature in County Cricket.

Jasprit Bumrah | AFP

After covering the recently concluded three-match Test series between India and South Africa as a commentator, former West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding has come to a conclusion that India speedster Jasprit Bumrah is not a new ball bowler and he won’t prefer him during India's tour of England later this year.

Echoing Holding’s voice Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram has now said that Bumrah is unlikely to get success in England since he hits the deck hard. However, Akram has come up with a valuable suggestion for the young India paceman. He wants Bumrah to skip this year’s IPL and play County Cricket in order to improve his skills for the typical English conditions.

"I agree with Mike that you can't hit the deck on English surfaces but that would only come with experience. Look the BCCI doesn't allow the Indian boys (main international stars) to play county cricket,” Akram said according to PTI.

"If Bumrah plays at least a month of county every year, trust me, he will be a better bowler. But then Indian board has to tell Bumrah that forego a month's IPL and play county cricket," he further added.

Featuring in his first 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. 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.

"He has had a good start to his Test career after starting off as a T20 specialist. So it's a kind of change in mindset that is slowly happening for him. If people are talking about not having an outswinger, I won't be bothered much,” Akram remarked.

"But if Bumrah can learn how to straighten the ball after pitching coming from wide off the crease, more often than not, it will be his wicket-taking delivery. He just needs to use a bit of wrists for that," the 'Sultan of Swing' elaborated.

Wasim also has a word of wisdom for India pacer Mohammed Shami, who scalped 15 wickets at an incredible average of 17.06 in three against South Africa.

"Shami is a good bowler but sometimes I feel he is a bit laidback. As a fast bowler, irrespective of the match situation, he should just sprint in and try to hurry the batsmen, who have a frontfoot trigger movement," Akram said.

Asked to elaborate on the technical aspects, the former left-armer added: "During his run-up, Shami, at times, tends to take small strides before his final load up to the crease. Now when he is in rhythm, his strides are correct and equally measured but moment he gets a bit wayward, his strides get smaller. It should always be the opposite.

The 51-year-old opined that Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the best Indian fast bowler on display in South Africa.

"Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the most impressive pacer in South Africa as far as my assessment goes. He was getting the ball to swing both ways. And with increased pace now, he has become all the more effective," Wasim said.

Another factor that could work in India’s favour during their England tour later this year, according to Akram, is the Duke ball.

"This Indian pace attack has potential to do well in England. They were very impressive in South Africa with the kookaburra which is a difficult ball to bowl with so Dukes which does a lot after pitching will be an easier for them," he signed-off.


By Salman Anjum - 08 Feb, 2018

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