CSK bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji(Twitter)
CSK bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji(Twitter)

‘He’ll play a bigger role in the future’: Balaji names ‘once-in-a-generation fast bowler’ of Team India

Former India pacer Laxmipathy Balaji spoke highly of Jasprit Bumrah and heaped praise on the latter's skillset to take up a leadership role in the bowling attack.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 15, 2021 09:44 AM IST

Former India pacer Laxmipathy Balaji has lauded Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling ability in all three formats of the game. The latter has evolved as one of the finest fast bowlers in the Indian set-up after making his international debut in 2016. Be it Test cricket, ODIs or T20Is, Bumrah has been a vital cog in Virat Kohli’s bowling arsenal.

Recently he had a great run in the Test series against England before the final game of the tour had to be cancelled due to a Covid outbreak in the Indian camp. In the first four games, Bumrah picked up 18 wickets and stood second on the list of highest wicket-takers of the series, after Ollie Robinson who scalped 21 wickets. The right-arm quick has now arrived in the UAE to join Mumbai Indians for the remainder of the Indian Premier League 2021.

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Speaking with indiatoday.in, Balaji spoke highly of Bumrah and heaped praise on the latter's skillset to take up a leadership role in the bowling attack.

“Bumrah has made huge strides in his Test career. He will play a bigger role in the future. The way he has managed both white ball and red ball has been phenomenal to watch. Both the skills are totally different. Very rarely, you get a match of both the red-ball cricket and white-ball cricket bowling in superior form,” Balaji was quoted as saying.

“We have seen many batsmen doing it but very rarely do we see bowlers evolving with both the skills. Bumrah is a once-in-a-generation fast bowler. It's not easy to replicate Bumrah. This generation, we are lucky to see talents like Bumrah and (Mohammed) Shami.

“When I started my career, great bowlers operated in tandem. Some like Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee. India's Zaheer (Khan) and (Javagal) Srinath and Ashish played together. All these guys we have seen in the late 90s and early 2000s.

“What we're seeing today is how far these guys are able to adapt and maintain their skill sets,” he added.

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Balaji, who is currently with Chennai Super Kings as a bowling coach, also highlighted Bumrah’s quality of ‘shouldering responsibility’ whenever the team needs him to deliver.

“Bumrah is one exceptional bowler. I see him not only as a skilful bowler but he has leadership quality. He has been shouldering responsibility very well at a very young age. The way he has handled the responsibility of the team has been phenomenal,” Balaji said.

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