Jasprit Bumrah earns never-seen-before praise from former Indian pacer; gets compared to this legend

Published - 15 Jun 2024, 11:43 AM | Updated - 15 Jun 2024, 12:01 PM

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. Image Credit: X

Former Indian cricketer Lakshmipathy Balaji has showered rich praise on Jasprit Bumrah, labeling him as the most complete fast bowler in contemporary cricket after his stunning performance for Team India in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

However, Bumrah's journey has not been without challenges. He suffered a stress reaction in his back, leading to surgery in New Zealand in March last year. This injury had kept him out of action for six months.

However, his comeback has been nothing short of spectacular, as he has been dominating across all formats, consistently proving his prowess against various oppositions.

Lakshmipathy Balaji hails Jasprit Bumrah's dominance across the formats

Balaji further hailed Bumrah's exceptional versatility and effectiveness across all formats of the game, saying the Indian speedster consistently delivers outstanding performances, whether it’s Test cricket or white-ball formats.

The former Indian pacer mentioned that he’s adept at making early breakthroughs with the new ball, while his ability to reverse swing the old ball is unparalleled.

In the middle overs of the white-ball games, Bumrah’s variations and extensive skill set not only restrict the flow of runs but also make him a potent wicket-taker for the Men in Blue, and that’s what he is doing exceptionally well for them in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 in the USA and Caribbean.

Furthermore, Balaji compared Bumrah to the legendary Pakistani pacer, Wasim Akram. He believes that if Bumrah can lead India to victory in the ongoing T20 World Cup in 2024, it will secure his legacy as Asia's second-greatest fast bowler after Akram.

Lakshmipathy Balaji compares Jasprit Bumrah with Wasim Akram

Lakshmipathy Balaji was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times: “If Bumrah can bowl India to this T20 World Cup title, it will cement his legacy as Asia’s second-best fast bowler, after Wasim Akram. Wasim Bhai, the ultimate. They both have identical traits; they have changed the dynamics of fast bowling.”

Drawing parallels between Bumrah and Akram, Balaji highlighted their shared ability to revolutionize fast bowling without relying heavily on lower-body strength, unlike traditional greats such as Dennis Lillee and Malcolm Marshall.

The cricket pandit noted that both Akram and Bumrah make use of the power of their upper bodies, unlike Australians or West Indies bowlers, to trouble the batters.

Balaji added, “Historically, if you see, great fast bowlers use their lower body to gain momentum with their run-up, with their explosive approach to the crease that helps them generate ultimate pace—the Dennis Lillees, the Michael Holdings, the Malcolm Marshalls.”

He further explained that the Asian bowlers don’t have lower bodies as strong as the Australians or the West Indians, but both Wasim and Bumrah have used sport to become terrific fast bowlers, not athleticism.

Jasprit Bumrah is the next best on our continent after Wasim Akram: Balaji

The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bowling coach also mentioned that Bumrah and Akram's upper bodies are strong and they have hardly any follow-through, but they don’t gain anything in the run-up.

Balaji further added, “Everything happens from their hand to their wrist; the bowling arm is dominant, and they do everything with the bowling arm alone—the accuracy, the Yorker, the pace and changes of pace, the changes in angle—which is why they are able to take the pitch and the conditions out of the equation. Even on the most docile surface, they bring something extra with the ball because of the work they do with their upper body.”

The former Indian pacer also reiterated that Bumrah is the second-best pacer in the subcontinent after the former Pakistani skipper. Balaji also suggested that Bumrah, much like Akram, has the potential to achieve greatness over the next decade, particularly if he can help India win the T20 World Cup in 2024.

Balaji signed off by saying, “Bumrah is the next best on our continent, only after him. Akram sprang into consciousness with some unplayable balls and three wickets in the 1992 World Cup final. It was after that, until 2003, that he chased and courted greatness. I feel this is the right time for Bumrah to chase greatness over the next decade, particularly if he can single-handedly win India this World Cup.”

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Lakshmipathy Balaji Jasprit Bumrah Wasim Akram India National Cricket Team ICC T20 World Cup