The best batsman in the world, Virat Kohli, doesn’t want to face Jasprit Bumrah. This message can single-handedly send chills down every batsman’s back. After taking an unassailable 2-1 lead in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Kohli spoke highly of the best bowler in the world.
Bumrah was a surprise entry to Test cricket in 2017, without any experience in first-class cricket. However he has ended with five-fors in all the countries he has travelled. He is also in the race for becoming the fastest Indian to 50 Test wickets.
Kohli spoke highly of him after bringing him to the longest format in the unconventional route. “I think the fact that he was showing amazing levels of energy and fitness in white-ball cricket and hence he was so good because he was not giving runs with the new ball, he was getting wickets, he would come back in the death overs and not bowl one loose delivery,” Kohli said.
Kohli continued, “He was training like he wanted to play Test cricket, he was that obsessed about his fitness levels and his work ethics. So we discussed before South Africa that if we put him as a surprise package, he could be lethal if he gets his lines and lengths right.”
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Unique action of Bumrah
Bumrah is blessed with an unique bowling action, which is quite difficult for any batsman to read. However Kohli believes it is his sharp mind rather than his action that sets him apart from others.
“The mindset he has is what separates him from anyone else in the world right now,” Kohli said. “He looks at the pitch, and he doesn’t think, ‘Oh it’s a hard toil on this wicket.’ He thinks how can I take make a breakthrough for the team and your mindset separates you from the rest. He is as strong-headed as I have seen anyone in the past, and that’s the key to his success, that’s what I have seen in the past 12 months.
“The way he has matured in Test cricket, and the areas he has bowled so quickly in his Test career, I think it’s a scary sign for the batsmen around the world in Test cricket. I mean if there is a pitch like Perth, I wouldn’t want to face Jasprit Bumrah to be honest because if he gets on a roll he can really crank it up and the way he bowls is so much more different to anyone and I think he realises that more than the batsmen, and that’s why he is so confident about his skills.”
Kohli hails Bumrah world’s best
Now that the series can’t be lost, India can relax a bit. However Kohli has already said that they would go to Sydney with only win in their minds. This brings to a crucial fact that who would partner Bumrah in Sydney.
Aussie captain Tim Paine has expected that there would be turn on Sydney’s pitch. As a result India’s veteran spinner Ashwin’s fitness becomes much more important.
“I think Ashwin’s very close to being match-fit,” Kohli said. “He has been bowling a lot of overs, and I’m sure these next four days [three] will make him even stronger. So regardless it being the last Test match, he will be willing to push himself and start for the team, but again it depends on what kind of pitch we get in Sydney.”
However from the words of the captain, Ashwin would only get in if India decides to play with two spinners. However at this moment they don’t want to think too much about the upcoming Sydney Test.
“We are very happy,” Kohli said. “Leading the series for the first time in Australia. We will take the trophy back home regardless of what happens in the last Test. Although our aim is to win the series here, which is what we came here thinking and that hasn’t changed regardless of whatever happened. But it is important to realise this moment, and it is important to understand how much hard work we have put in to reach this scoreline. We have to appreciate that as a whole team.”