India vs New Zealand: ‘When you build a reputation...’ - Zaheer Khan explains why Jasprit Bumrah returned wicket-less in ODI series
Former India fast-bowler Zaheer Khan jumped into defense of under-fire Jasprit Bumrah, who returned wicket-less in the recently-concluded ODI series against New Zealand. Bumrah failed to rediscover his wicket-taking form as India were hammered 3-0 in the ODI series. This is the first time in 31 years that India have suffered a series whitewash in ODIs (minimum three matches played).
Bumrah had a torrid time in New Zealand as the Indian seamer failed to get a single wicket in three matches. This was the first time in a bilateral ODI series that Bumrah returned empty handed. He was economical with his bowling but failed to get wickets which allowed New Zealand to chase down high totals in both 1st and 3rd ODI.
Zaheer, one of the stars of India’s 2011 World Cup winning campaign, felt batsmen aren’t taking chances against him so Bumrah will have to be extra aggressive to pick wickets.
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“When you build a reputation like how Jasprit Bumrah has built now over the years, you will have to fight this,” Zaheer told Cricbuzz. “Bumrah is in a phase where teams are saying ‘even if we get thirty five runs we are happy with that as long as we are not giving him wickets because then we can attack the other bowlers’.”
“That is something which Bumrah will have to understand that he has to be extra aggressive in terms of looking to get those wickets because he knows the batsmen are going to be defensive. So, he has to find that way of going for wickets rather than hoping that the batsmen will make a mistake because batsmen are taking a very conservative approach and making sure that his wicket-taking column is not getting filled.
“It’s a good sign that other batsmen are giving him that respect so it’s Bumrah’s call to now basically make them play. He has to make the play now rather than batsman playing him out,” Zaheer added.
Due to his indifferent show, Bumrah also conceded the top spot in the latest ICC ODI Rankings, which was announced on Wednesday.
Bumrah dropped down to second spot in the ODI rankings with 719 rating points. Kiwis pacer Trent Boult (727), who didn’t even feature in the series, displaced Bumrah as the number one ranked bowler in the world.