'He was woefully out of form, practice': Former wicket-keeper says India bowler was picked for WTC final on 'reputation'
- The fast-bowling trio, which was picked in the form of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah couldn't deliver as they combined to pick up seven wickets in the match.
Following their defeat in the all-important World Test Championship final, India drew plenty of flak for several reasons, two of which were their inability to put up a fight with the bat in the second innings and the fact their bowling lacked teeth barring a couple of sessions.
The fast-bowling trio, which was picked in the form of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah couldn't deliver as they combined to pick up seven wickets in the match, while the remaining five New Zealand wickets to fall were taken by spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Shami was the pick of the bowlers claiming a 4/76 in the first innings, aided by Ishant's 3/48. However, the biggest surprise was Bumrah, who went wicketless in both innings – 0/57 and 0/35 – and weighing in on his form, former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim feels that Bumrah could have been kept away from the match, but the selectors decided to pick him nonetheless based on what he's achieved for India.
"I feel the selectors did not pay attention to the current form and went on reputation to a certain extent. Jasprit Bumrah has not played red-ball cricket since he got injured in Australia," Karim told India News.
"He has only played white-ball cricket and that too only the T20s. He did not play in the home series against England. I felt he was woefully out of form and along with that out of practice if we talk about red-ball cricket."
Bumrah isn't much of a swing bowler, but the movement he gets off the pitch is what has made him such a threat in overseas situations. However, when even that went missing was when the alarm bells went off and although Karim felt the fast bowler was getting his groove back in the second innings – he had a catch dropped off his bowling – concerns still remained.
"To a certain extent, I felt he was getting back his rhythm in the second innings spell he bowled, he was also unlucky at times. But in the end, he couldn't catch the length that is required in red-ball cricket, especially in conducive conditions, in the entire Test match. I feel this is a very big area of concern and it is required to rectify this in the upcoming series," he pointed out.