Former quick Zaheer Khan weighed in over ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah's dip in performances as he, despite going at a decent economy rate, hasn't been among the wickets since his comeback from a lengthy injury sabbatical.
Bumrah, in fact, went wicketless during the ODI series against New Zealand as India suffered a disappointing 3-0 whitewash, the team's first in a series of three or more games since 1989.
However, Zaheer, who knows a thing or two about how difficult it can be to regain your best form immediately after making a comeback from injury, defended the 26-year-old and backed him to overcome this phase soon.
"When you build a reputation like how Jasprit Bumrah has built now over the years, you will have to fight this," Zaheer told Cricbuzz. "Bumrah is in a phase where teams are saying ‘even if we get thirty five runs we are happy with that as long as we are not giving him wickets because then we can attack the other bowlers’."
The Kiwis were also smart in handling Bumrah, negotiating him carefully and keeping wickets intact to attack the rest of the Indian bowling unit.
“That is something which Bumrah will have to understand that he has to be extra aggressive in terms of looking to get those wickets because he knows the batsmen are going to be defensive."
"So, he has to find that way of going for wickets rather than hoping that the batsmen will make a mistake because batsmen are taking a very conservative approach and making sure that his wicket-taking column is not getting filled," Zaheer added.
“It’s a good sign that other batsmen are giving him that respect so it’s Bumrah’s call to now basically make them play. He has to make the play now rather than batsman playing him out."
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)