England legend David Gower picks between Robinson, Bumrah and Anderson as the best bowler of India-England Test series
The Test series between India and England may have come to an abrupt end with the cancellation of the fifth and final Test in Manchester, but the disappointing finish does not take away the memories of what had been a riveting series between two top teams in world cricket. In search of their first Test series win in England, India won Test matches at Lord's and the Oval, while England proved they were no pushovers with a convincing innings victory at Leeds.
As for individual performances, a few names take the top honours. Among batsmen, the two who standout and take the cake are England captain Joe Root and India opener Rohit Sharma. Root was the leading run-getter of the series, amassing 564 runs from seven innings at an average of 94 and the best score of an unbeaten 80, while Rohit continued to blossom in the role of an opener, scoring 368 runs from eight innings with a highest of 127, which was his maiden overseas Test century.
As far as bowlers go, three names made the most noise – James Anderson, Jasprit Bumrah and Ollie Robinson. England legend David Gower was asked to pick between the three pacers as the best bowler of the series and while the former captain felt all three were phenomenal, he gave the edge to India's Bumrah.
"Those are the ones in contention (Bumrah, Robinson, Anderson). Everyone else had their ups and downs but they were the three who consistently bowled well. It’s a tricky choice to have to make. I would love to say Jimmy because he proved himself again at that certain age – he is approaching 40 – there is still an ability, the fitness that makes him a unique animal. But I think I am just going to go with Bumrah," Gower told Cricket.com.
Anderson, 39, picked up 15 wickets in four Tests with a five-wicket-haul, while youngster Robinson impressed to emerge as the highest wicket-taker with 21 scalps. Bumrah, meanwhile was three short of Robinson's tally with 18 wickets, but Gower went with the India pacer just for the sheer impact he had at crucial stages of the match, such as the one on the final day of the Oval Test. Bumrah bowled brilliantly with the old ball, generating reverse-swing, with his two wickets in two overs – Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow – swinging the balance of the match in India's favour.
"For instance, that final day at The Oval, in the context of where we are now… England could have batted out. It could have been 1-1, but the difference was that Jadeja bowled into the rough and Bumrah produced just the perfect spell. The two of them just cruised through that middle and lower order as they did on the final day was spectacular," Gower added.
"What a way to win a Test match from a lowly start on Day 1. I'm just thinking that spells like that one where you end up winning games, that’s important. So, I'm just going to shade in and give it to Bumrah."