Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar. Image-BCCI.

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Jasprit Bumrah’s short-ball attack on James Anderson at Lord’s was a ploy of Virat Kohli to soften or perhaps even injure England’s talisman pacer.

On Day 3, Bumrah hurled down 10 pacy deliveries (4 no-balls), and more than half of them were short-balls against England’s number 11, James Anderson, who had taken a five-for in India’s first innings.

Sanjay Manjrekar was surprised by this tactic from Bumrah, and he feels that it could have been the skipper’s plan to hurt Anderson.

Jasprit Bumrah, James Anderson
Jasprit Bumrah, James Anderson.(Photo: Twitter)

In his column for The Hindustan Times, Sanjay Manjrekar wrote, “When, out of the blue, Jasprit Bumrah started a relentless attack of short balls aimed into the body of no 11 Jimmy Anderson. It was very un-Bumrah like. Normally you would expect him to bowl a fast, full delivery into the stumps to Anderson to finish off the innings quickly like he did in the first.

“I am guessing this was Virat Kohli’s plan executed by Bumrah. Go after the main guy in the opposition, soften him up a little, stir him up a bit or maybe injure him in a way that the main English weapon was blunted.”

It seemed to me that Anderson’s ego was bruised a little: Sanjay Manjrekar

Soon after Anderson was dismissed by Mohammed Shami, he brushed off with Bumrah while walking back and let the Indian pacer know his displeasure of being at the receiving end of menacing bouncers.

Sanjay Manjrekar reckons Anderson’s ego was “bruised a little”, as the English pacers bowled bouncers to Bumrah. However, he, after taking a couple of blows on his body, went on to score 34 unbeaten runs and forged an 89-run stand with Shami to take India to an unassailable position, from where they bowled England out and won by 151 runs.

The cricketer-turned-commentator also lauded Kohli’s attributes of being “genuinely aggressive and fearless’, which he has instilled in the team as well.

India National Cricket Team
India National Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Whatever the reason, I just loved it. Why? Because right through my playing career no captain of mine – barring one – did this to any opposition fast bowler fearing the backlash.

“This is Virat’s great attribute. He is genuinely aggressive and fearless and he is in your face. His team may not be as demonstrative of this trait, but they are bound to imbibe some of it.

“At the end of Day 3, while walking out you could see Anderson was genuinely affected. He had lost his calm as a competitor. It seemed to me his ego was bruised a little,” the 56-year-old added.

The third Test is slated for next week in Headingley. England will be making changes to their line-up as they have dropped Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley and recalled Dawid Malan.