'His arms are stiff; batsman doesn't get clear view of the ball': Lloyd lavishes special praise on India's 'rare beast'
- In the past few years, Indian cricket has witnessed a steep rise in the quality of its pace unit.
Jasprit Bumrah couldn't have hoped for a better start to his captaincy spell in the longest format. The fast bowler, who was named the skipper in place of unavailable Rohit Sharma for the ongoing fifth Test, plundered England's Stuart Broad for 29 in an over costing a total of 35 -- the most expensive in Test history. He then removed the top three batters to set a new record for most wickets (21) taken by an Indian bowler in a series in England. (India vs England Live Score, 5th Test, Day 4)
David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd drew attention to how Bumrah makes it 'awkward' for the batters. With his unconventional action, the Indian has seen a meteoric rise in world cricket. He first burst onto the scene at the highest level in January 2016. Six years hence, he has evolved into one of the most prolific bowlers irrespective of the format and conditions.
"Jasprit Bumrah is that rare beast of international cricket – a fast-bowling captain. I can't think of too many over the years - Bob Willis, Pat Cummins. Bumrah is high-quality and must be so awkward to face. His arms are stiff; the batsman doesn't get a clear view of the ball due to the quirkiness of his action, and then he releases it at close to 90mph. He takes his wickets at spit," wrote Lloyd in his column for the Daily Mail.
In the past few years, Indian cricket has also seen a steep rise in the quality of its pace unit. The cricketer-turned-commentator explained how Virat Kohli's appointment brought in a change, helping the bowling pack evolve into a "potent force".
"India has evolved as a team over the decades. Once noted for world-class spin bowlers, their next phase took in world-class batsmen."
"Fast bowling was neglected until the late 1980s when Dennis Lilee launched the MRF Pace Foundation. When Virat Kohli came along, he realised his team had to take 20 wickets to win Tests. Their attack has become a potent force since (then)," he added.
India have set England a record-breaking target of 378 runs in the series-deciding Test. The visitors were bowled out for 245 on the fourth day with Ben Stokes claiming three quick wickets after lunch. Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara (68) was the top scorer in the second innings for India.