English media's polarising headlines on Jasprit Bumrah is India's biggest win | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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English media's polarising headlines on Jasprit Bumrah is Team India's biggest victory in Test series

Feb 07, 2024 01:07 PM IST

Jasprit Bumrah has become English media's blue-eyed boy and nightmare at the same time. After his performance in Vizag, he got the ‘best-ever Indian pacer’ tag.

Jasprit Bumrah is lethal. Jasprit Bumrah is fantastic. Jasprit Bumrah is the toast of the nation. Jasprit Bumrah is Ben Stokes' dream and nightmare. Jasprit Bumrah is England's biggest worry and Jasprit Bumrah is English media's blue-eyed boy.

India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrates(AFP)
India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrates(AFP)

Yes, Jasprit Bumrah is all of that and much more.

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He is one of those rare cricketers whose statistical and aesthetical brilliance complement each other like the right and left hand. He burst onto the scene as a T20 specialist and sent perceptions for a toss by making the red ball dance to his unusual tunes. Bumrah became the fastest Indian pacer to 150 Test wickets during the second Test against England Visakhapatnam. On Indian pitches often criticised by the opposition media as bunsen burners, Bumrah has picked 29 wickets in six Tests at an average of 13.06. Ridiculous! And he has all done that while maintaining a steady upward graph in ODIs and T20Is. Don't even dare to club them as white-ball cricket. ODIs and T20Is require vastly different skill sets and Bumrah is a master of all.

Bumrah has the most lethal yorker - ask Ollie Pope. Bumrah has a deadly bouncer - look at India's last tour to South Africa. Bumrah has a deceptive slower ball - Shaun Marsh, Ollie Robinson and most recently, Ben Foakes would advocate for that. Bumrah can take the ball away and bring it back in to set up batters of the quality of Joe Root as many as eight times. Reverse swing comes easier to Bumrah than the conventional one. Bumrah can tie the batters down. He is also the captain's go-to bowler whenever the team needs desperate wickets.

So good was Bumrah that he snatched the Player of the Match award from a batter - Yashasvi Jaiswal - who had scored a double century when the next best in his team was just 34 and nobody even had second thoughts over it. Bumrah's 6/45 in the first innings in Vizag was in many ways the reason why India won the Test match. His 3/46 in the second innings, even though included the all-important wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Ben Foakes, was just the icing on the cake.

After the match, Stokes had no qualms about doffing his hat off to Bumrah. "What a player," he said. The English media, generally the 12th man of their touring side, were no less generous. Some described him as India's greatest-ever fast bowler, some compared him to the nightmare that Mitchell Johnson caused England in the Ashes a decade ago. All agreed that he has been and will continue to be the difference between the two sides in this series.

How English media reacted to Jasprit Bumrah's success against England

BBC: Jasprit Bumrah and James Anderson competing to be the most freakishly skilful fast bowler. uppermost in England minds should be the problem of Bumrah, whose staccato action and educated fingers could probably swing a tangerine around corners.

The frissons of excitement generated every time Bumrah begins a new spell are approaching (but not quite at) the tingles felt every time Mitchell Johnson took the ball in the 2013-14 Ashes. The obliteration of Pope's middle and leg stumps on the second afternoon in Visakhapatnam was so violent, it should have come with an 18 rating. In a series where batting and spin bowling promised to be the decisive factors, Bumrah is emerging as a potential difference between the two sides.

Daily Mail: As it was this mountain was too big to climb, with the majestic Jasprit Bumrah adding another three wickets to his world-class, second Test-defining six-wicket burst of reverse swing on the second day as England fell 106 runs short of a new piece of history.

The Telegraph UK: T20 cricket has created the world’s best Test bowler in Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah learnt his trade alongside Lasith Malinga, and has been using his white-ball skills to devastating effect in Test cricket

The Independent UK: Bumrah is a giant of the game and arguably the greatest seamer India have produced since the days of uncovered wickets. Seam bowling itself is an art, and it is harder still to produce magic on Indian pitches. A yorker is not an easy ball to bowl, either, get it a touch too full and it becomes the batter’s favoured full toss, while a tad too short and it becomes a half volley. But to Pope: Bumrah bowls it with perfection. However, Bumrah is more than just his unplayable deliveries, his entire way of approaching bowling, and the crease is a phenomenon.

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