'He's up there with the best but...': Former Australia spinner's warning for Team India about Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah's recent performances in England have led to many calling him the best fast bowler in the world across formats.
Pacer Jasprit Bumrah's performances in India's ongoing tour of England, particularly his figures in the first ODI, has led to many stating that he might just be the best fast bowler in the world accross formats. Bumrah managed extraordinary figures of 6/19 in the first ODI before which he recorded figures of 2/10 in the second T20I.
Bumrah has been among the Indian players who have been rested time and again and former Australia spinner Brad Hogg said that India need to continue managing their premier fast bowler in similar ways so as to ensure that he remains at his best for Test matches or for big tournaments, like the T20 World Cup which comes later this year.
“He is definitely up there. But with all fast bowlers around the world, I think they have got to manage carefully because they are your main asset in any team. Yes, you've got your batters and spinners (but) the workload on the spinners isn't as harsh as on the fast bowlers,” Hogg told HindustanTimes.com on the sidelines of a Tourism Western Australia event.
“If you want Bumrah at his peak for Test cricket and the T20 World Cup and other tournaments, your medical staff have to be top-notch. When you are critiquing teams and when you see Bumrah doing not so well, that is probably a period where his training loads have dampened off.”
Hogg gave an example of how Australia benefitted from ensuring that former pacer Brett Lee peaks at the 2003 World Cup that year. Lee was at his fiery best in that World Cup, finishing one wicket behind Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas in the list of highest wicket-takers, as Australia won the tournament. It was the second of their three consecutive World Cup titles.
"I'll give you a little secret, 2003 World Cup Brett Lee. We had a Test series before that but the whole thing that leading up to the World Cup was for him to be at his peak. And he ended bowling some of the quickest balls ever seen in that tournament. That happened because of him sitting down with the physios and planning everything through to that particular moment for him to peak in that World Cup.
“As journalists and commentators, sometimes we forget what's happening in the bigger scheme of things in the calendar of cricket. Bumrah and (Mohammed) Shami have to be looked after,” said Hogg.
Hogg said that this practice of resting their best players gives India the opportunity to get someone like Mohammed Siraj to get more game time. The 28-year-old fast bowler had a see-saw experience in the fifth Test against England, taking four wickets in the first innings but being belted for 98 runs in 15 overs for no scalps in the second. However, Hogg said one has to remember how Siraj led an inexperienced attack in Australia during India's extraordinary series win there last year despite himself making his Test debut in that series.
"This is a great thing, you are giving opportunities to the likes of Siraj. He got belted over there in that Test match against England but at the end of the day, they are good lessons to be that. Bit like me coming here in 1996 and going, I've got to learn a lot more.
“When you say bad things about him because he didn't have a good match there, you forget what he did over in Australia when he led that attack when India were depleted. He won the series for you by carrying that attack over there. So he has got a good mindset, courage, wants to be in the contest. Every now and then he is going to have a bad tournament and that is a lesson for him,” said Hogg.