After proving his mettle in the limited-overs format, Jasprit Bumrah is extending his brilliance in red-ball cricket by creating new milestones every day he steps on to the 22-yard strip. Against West Indies in the recently-concluded series, Bumrah returned with an impressive haul of 13 wickets at an average of 9.23 in two Tests. His hat-trick in the first innings of the second Test at Sabina Park put him made him just the third Indian bowler to scale the feat in Test cricket.
For his on-field exploits, Bumrah was hailed by skipper Virat Kohli as the ‘most complete bowler in world cricket now’. “When he [Bumrah] gets some kind of momentum, you can see what he can do in five-six overs with the new ball, which you saw in the first innings.” said Kohli, adding, “I haven’t seen many more lethal spells than that two spells in the last couple of Tests. As a batsman standing in slips, you can feel for the batsmen who’s playing him. He confuses them with angles, with swing, he will set up for the out-swinger and then bowl the in-swinger. It’s coming at pace and then he can hit you with bouncers as well. I think he’s the most complete bowler in world cricket now,” said Kohli in the post-match conference.
The Indian skipper downplayed the captaincy record of becoming India’s most successful Test captain after 2-0 series against West Indies, stating that the collective effort of the team is what matters. “Captaincy is just a ‘C’ in front of your name honestly. It’s the collective effort that matters,” ” It’s a by-product of this quality team that we have here, to be honest. If we didn’t have the bowlers that we have, I don’t think the results would have been possible,” said Kohli. The win ensures India maintain their top spot in the ICC World Test Championships with 120 points.
Kohli also sounded confident of the Test outfit stating that the players have come up trumps when put under pressure and that has been one of the key factors in the team’s recent success.
“I think that’s what Test cricket is all about, [and] that’s been our pattern and habit has been all about. When put under pressure, find ways to come out of those situations and really put the situation in your team’s favour and then capitalise when the pressure is on the opposition. I think we have done that really well. As a Test team, I think we are placed really nicely. [I am] very confident about how we are going about things,” Kohli said.
The skipper also lauded the efforts of Hanuma Vihari, who was adjudged the Man of the Match for the second Test for his tally 164 runs at the Sabina Park (111 and 53*), labelling him as the find of the series.
“I think the find of the series was Hanuma Vihari. The way he’s batted under pressure especially, and on a much more challenging wicket here in Jamaica than in Antigua. I think his skill sets were outstanding. I think his temperament and technique were top-notch and he countered everything the opposition threw at him. Very, very pleased with the way he has come about,” added Kohli.