Cricket fans, who may have been busy last Saturday afternoon, and failed to watch the action from the second session of the second day's play between India and England, missed out on something incredibly special. Perhaps as special as the fourth day's play against Australia at Eden Gardens in 2001, when VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid were batting.
On a beautiful batting pitch in Vizag, that magic Jasprit Bumrah Designed to remove the classy Joe Root, in-form Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow, it was the equal of some of the greatest spells of fast bowling that have been bowled in India in the last 40 years.
Match figures of 9-91 went a long way with a Man of the Match award on a pitch that should have helped the spinners. boomrah Becoming the No. 1 bowler in Tests in the ICC rankings – the first Indian fast bowler to achieve this feat. the other three were Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja And Bishan Singh Bedi. Don't forget that he has already been ranked No. 1 in ODIs and T20Is, which only underlines the versatility and special skills of the 30-year-old.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain rightly said that there is no shame in losing to “a talented individual”. England's batsmen hardly made any mistakes. It had nothing to do with the buzzball explosion – it was just that the speed, pace and variety that Bumrah generated tilted the balance completely in India's favor in the second Test. After tea, England captain Ben Stokes' reaction after being bowled by the Mumbai player said it all – “I don't know how to deal with it”.
Bumrah has played only six Test matches in India, but on home pitches that are not conducive to fast bowling, he averages a ridiculous 13.6. Compare this with other Indian greats – Kapil Dev (26.49) and zaheer khan (35.87) – And you know what we're talking about.
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Lakshmipathy Balaji told TOI, “Bumrah's overall average is in the early 20s (20.19) and he has already taken more than 150 wickets… We used to hear about such figures from Malcolm Marshall or Richard Hadlee. This is unprecedented.”
Former Indian fast bowler Balaji was the bowling coach of Chennai Super Kings for a long time and has closely watched Bumrah's brilliant T20 spell for Mumbai Indians. But it is Bumrah's consistency in Test cricket that has surprised Balaji.
“The angles Bumrah creates are a gift from God. From outside the stumps, the areas he can bowl to sometimes defy physics. It is Bumrah's ability to take the pitch out of the equation that makes him What makes it so special…when we were growing up as cricketers, we used to watch wasim akram Or Waqar Younis Do it, it feels good to see one of our own turning the world upside down,” Balaji said.
When this fast bowler emerged in 2015, he was seen as the next Malinga. Given his unorthodox sling action from a short run-up, which placed a great deal of strain on his shoulders and back, the popular belief was that a breakdown was not far off.
Yet it was Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri who decided to use him in Test matches abroad, a decision that helped India become a dangerous touring team in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia. But the inevitable happened. Bumrah had a stress fracture in his back due to which he was out of cricket for almost a year in 2022-23.
On his return, Bumrah once again proved that he is a one of a kind player. Balaji, who himself suffered a back injury at his peak which saw him become a half-bowler, said: “Bumrah's form on his return from injury is similar to that of Dennis Lillee, the Australian great, who also suffered a serious back injury. (in the late 1970s), but came back as a mature and far more powerful bowler. Bumrah is doing just that. He has not lost his pace which has not diminished his fear. I tell you from experience “To do this is incredibly difficult.”
In the four Test matches played since his return, Bumrah averages 11.66!
Had it not been for Bumrah, India would have lost the Test series in South Africa at the end of the year and gone down 2-0 against England, who came well prepared for spin. But Bumrah's talent is really beyond the curriculum. This is unlikely to change in the near future, provided his body remains healthy.