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Virat Kohli explains Jasprit Bumrah’s Test selection

The 24-year-old brings variety to the Indian pace attack.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah celebrates a wicket with teammates. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Indian captain Virat Kohli, who is back to playing cricket after missing out the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka for his marriage, has said that Jasprit Bumrah’s inclusion in the first Test of the three-match series was influenced by his preparations and his ability to “bowl a really heavy ball”. Bumrah’s selection took many by surprise, while Ajinkya Rahane’s exclusion was also shocking.

Rohit Sharma over Ajinkya Rahane

Rohit Sharma was preferred over vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane for the middle-order spot. While it is true that Rahane’s recent performances at home were poor, it can be recalled that he is the best overseas batsman for India, and could have been tested at least in the first Test. Bumrah and all-rounder Hardik Pandya were included ahead of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. Ishant’s exclusion was also surprising, given that his good height can help generate more bounce on the pitch.

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Most impressive seamer, says Kohli on Bumrah

Speaking more about Bumrah’s selection, Kohli highlighted his limited-over exploits. “Jasprit Bumrah is making his Test debut. He has come a long way and he has done really well in limited-overs cricket. He is bowling a really heavy ball and he has been the most impressive seamer here in our preparations,” Kohli said at the toss on Friday, January 5.

He added, “We are very excited to have him start his Test career today and wish him all the best.” Bumrah is the number three and number four-ranked bowler in ODIs and T20Is respectively. However, not many had expected him to get into the playing XI as early as in the opening Test.

The 24-year-old brings variety to the Indian pace attack and is also very confident, as was seen in a T20 against England last year, in which he defended 8 runs in the final over. Plus, he can bowl at a higher pace than the other two frontline seamers, Bhuvneshwar and Shami.

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