‘Unleash him straight in South Africa’ – Ravi Shastri reveals how he planned Jasprit Bumrah’s Test debut in 2018

Back in the 2018 tour of South Africa, Bumrah picked up 14 wickets from three games including a five-wicket haul.

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Jasprit Bumrah wicket
Jasprit Bumrah of India. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri said that he didn’t want Jasprit Bumrah to make his Test debut in India and rather get the taste of the format in South Africa. The now 28-year-old Bumrah made his debut in limited-overs cricket back in 2016 and it took him two more years to play the red and pink-ball format.

India’s Test series against the Proteas back then didn’t turn out to be a fruitful one for the visitors as they lost it 1-2. After losing in Cape Town and Centurion, the visiting team secured a consolation win in the Johannesburg Test. However, Shastri’s call to let Bumrah make Test debut in South Africa didn’t backfire by any means.

Bumrah turned out to be the second-highest wicket-taker of the series with 14 scalps from three matches with one five-wicket haul to show for his efforts. Shastri, who took over as India’s head coach only four months ago back then, was clear cut in talking about Bumrah’s foray in the purest format.

Ravi Shastri opens on  

“He knew. I made Bharat Arun call him up and let him know that be ready. You might just get a call up. I spoke to Virat, spoke to the selectors. I said not in India… don’t even bring him into the 15 in India. Unleash him straight in South Africa. And coming to Cape Town,” Shastri was quoted as saying on ‘The Ravi Shastri’ Show on Star Sports.

In the last four years, Bumrah has faced quite a few injury concerns due to which he has had to warm the benches. In 24 Tests thus far, the fast bowler has picked up 101 wickets with two four-wicket hauls and as many as six five-wicket hauls.

Back in 2019, Bumrah became the third Indian bowler after Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan to pick up a hat-trick in Test cricket. The youngster achieved feat during the 2019-21 World Test Championship match against the West Indies in Jamaica.

Bumrah has also played 67 ODIs and 55 T20Is, picking up 174 wickets at excellent economy rates of 4.65 and 6.52 respectively. Moreover, he has been a crucial member of the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

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