Jasprit Bumrah can be an option for first Test, believes Ashish Nehra

This tour will certainly be challenging for India.

Jasprit Bumrah India v Sri Lanka
Indian cricketer Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Jasprit Bumrah, a name which has become prominent in world cricket in the last year and a half. His extraordinary abilities to bowl yorkers at the death has benefited the Indian side as he bowls some economical overs during the end of an innings. Team India is all set to tour South Africa, the tour begins on 5th January at Newlands, Cape Town.

This is the first time that Bumrah has been included in India’s Test squad. His stint with the white ball has been phenomenal, he has also added a few new tricks to his bag. The 24-year-old has learnt to swing the ball upfront and his heroics in the death overs are known to all. The Indian quick has proved himself in the Ranji Trophy.


With The Red Ball

Jasprit Bumrah is habitual to bowling long spells, he has been the spearhead of Gujarat’s bowling lineup in domestic cricket. Bumrah played an integral role in Gujarat’s championship win in 2016-17. Bumrah has fetched 89 wickets in 42 innings in first-class cricket. Bumrah’s height will give him extra bounce in South Africa which will trouble the batsmen, his yorkers and awkward action could be lethal according to Nehra.

“He has the most lethal yorker among the five pacers along with good slower ones. Also, he has an awkward high-arm action, which can be very difficult to pick initially. All these factors work in Bumrah’s favour,” feels Nehra, who was a part of the 2001 Test series in the country.

“Cape Town, during January, can get hot and the conditions may not be seam-friendly. Now if it becomes humid and the pitch is a flat one, then Bhuvneshwar may not get the desired swing and seam movement”. Nehra believes that the weather in Cape Town will play a huge role, Bhuvneshwar has performed tremendously in seaming conditions but has failed to impress on flat tracks.

The Third Seamer?

Jasprit Bumrah has performed wonderfully with the white Kookaburra ball, ”the seam of the white and red ball is the same and when the seam is no longer pronounced, ones who can hit the deck hard get an advantage,” he said as per quotes on Deccan Herald.

According to Nehra, the choice of the third seamer will be tricky for the team management. Shami is a strike bowler for the side and he will be the first pacer to be picked, says Nehra. Ishant Sharma is an experienced campaigner and can stifle the batsman. There have been times that Ishant has created pressure from one end and it has helped bowlers from other end get wickets,” he added.

He agreed that the choice of the third seamer will depend on the conditions in Cape Town. A bit of cloud cover and grass on the pitch will mean that Bhuvneshwar Kumar has a chance of playing, it’s a choice between Bumrah, Umesh and Bhuvneshwar, reckons India’s former pacer. Now Umesh has a fantastic outswinger at a good pace. He has bowled a lot in home conditions during the past season and is also a contender. But I believe the choice would be very much condition specific,” he opined.

This tour will certainly be challenging for India. India has played weak teams like Sri Lanka in the past few months. Playing weak teams means that you are neither getting tested nor your players are exposed to tough conditions. The Indian bowlers have often struggled to take twenty wickets in a test match. “Obviously South Africa will come hard at us but this is a very balanced team. This is currently the best Indian team that had picked itself,” Nehra concluded.

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