Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan reckons Jasprit Bumrah, who is battling indifferent form, will have to fight through this phase in order to be effective again.
Bumrah was out with a stress fracture since September and made his return to international cricket in January during the home series against Sri Lanka and Australia. However, since his return, Bumrah hasn’t been as effective as he used to be picking up nine wickets from 14 games.
His form in ODIs is a bigger concern and with just one wicket from six games – going wicketless in three ODIs against New Zealand – Bumrah has been off colour. Bumrah’s only notable performance was the 3/12 he claimed in the final T20I and the Bay Oval. Two matches ago, he was taken apart by New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, which derailed the pacer off his track.
“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’,” Zaheer said.
Bumrah’s dip in form saw New Zealand left-arm pacer Trent Boult leapfrog him to the top of the ICC ODI rankings. And when teams are looking to being defensive against him, Zaheer feels Bumrah could use the extra-aggressive approach to help him emerge from this little slump.
“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,” he said.
“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. 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.”