'If he swings the white ball so much, just imagine...': Gavaskar's incredible 'just like Bumrah' remark for India pacer
The legendary Sunil Gavaskar has identified one pacer from the current Indian set-up, who has shown Jasprit Bumrah-like traits in his career.
Jasprit Bumrah has created such a niche for himself in Indian cricket that no other India pacer can fill his shoes. Bumrah's absence was deeply felt in the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup last year, where India failed to reach the final of both tournaments. And while there is no death of talent and promise in India's current crop of young fast bowlers such as Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh and Shivam Mavi, Bumrah is in a league of his own, not just in Indian cricket but the world across. Bumrah is everything a captain expects from his pacer – bowl with pace, deliver wickets when needed and more-importantly an all-format fast bowler for India.
However, the legendary Sunil Gavaskar has identified one pacer from the current Indian set-up, who has shown Bumrah-like traits initially in his career. One of the most defining aspects of Bumrah's career that made him stand head and toe above the rest was his ability to produce a string of impactful performances, first in limited-overs and then replicate it in Test. And while it may sound improbably, from the present fast-bowling stock, Gavaskar feels backs Arshdeep to make the same transition.
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"He has got a very good bouncer and bowls a great yorker as well. He certainly is a prospect, big prospect... even for red-ball cricket because if he can get the white-ball to swing so much, imagine what he will do with the red ball. And of course, he also brings a left-handed dimension to any attack. He's got pace, can get the ball to move so. Just like Jasprit Bumrah started off with the white-ball and went on to become such an effective, top-class Test match bowler, Arshdeep Singh is someone to keep an eye on," Gavaskar said during the 2nd ODI between India and New Zealand.
Then again, there is a long way to go for Arshdeep before he cements his place in all three formats for India. He has played 25 T20Is and three ODIs picking up 39 wickets and while he has shown real promise in T20s, it's the 50-over where Arshdeep has gone wicketless and is yet to be tested. Besides, the left-armer's unwanted tendency to overstep and bowl no-balls is a big challenge that he needs to overcome.
In an India career spanning only 6 months, Arshdeep has seen plenty of ups and downs in his short career so far. He was trolled for dropping a catch against Pakistan in the Asia Cup but roared back in the T20 World Cup picking up 3/32 – including the wicket of Babar Azam – against the same side. He has blown hot and cold but the fact that Hardik Pandya backs him to bowl the tough overs in the death highlights the team management's faith in him.
It may be a while before Arshdeep breaks into the Test squad given there are other notable contenders before him. Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah are the obvious top three, followed by Umesh Yadav and now Jaydev Unadkat in the mix too, but when the time comes for torch to be passed, Arshdeep is expected to be right up there.