Former Windies fast bowler and renowned cricket pundit Michael Holding, recently expressed his reservations about Jasprit Bumrah’s abilities with the new-ball in English conditions, even after his impressive debut Test series against South Africa.
Bumrah’s selection into India’s Test squad for the Proteas series came in the aftermath of consistent performances with white-ball cricket since making his debut in Australia back in 2015-16.
Unorthodox bowler’s inclusion into the XI came as a surprise to many, but the unorthodox bowler backed the decision by claiming as many as 14 wickets in the 3-match series, which included his maiden five-wicket haul in the 3rd Test at Bidvest Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Despite his success in the series, Holding remains circumspect regarding his adept in the English conditions due to the absence of the outgoing delivery in his arsenal. In fact, ‘the Whispering Death’, instead, is more inclined towards the services of Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Mohammed Shami to make full use of the English conditions.
“I am not sure he is going to be a good new ball bowler. He struggles to take the ball away from right-handers when bowling with the new ball. So he wouldn’t be my first choice (on overseas tours). My first choice is always Bhuvneshwar Kumar,” claimed Michael Holding according to PTI.
“Then I would think about Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami. When India play in England, pitches will be drastically different to South Africa. I wouldn’t play Bumrah because he bangs the ball in. Those pitches need someone to bowl so that the ball who kisses the surface and gets it to move around,” said the West Indian, now with the Supersport Network based in South Africa after a long stint with Sky Sports Network.
However, Holding suggested that Bumrah is more of a hit-the-deck-hard kind of a bowler and would be able to excel in conditions with inconsistent bounce and with the older ball.
“He hits the deck hard and that’s why he got those two wickets in Centurion (second innings) and the fiver here at Wanderers. When he hits the deck hard, and the ball is keeping up and down, at his pace the batsmen do not have time to react. He did this very effectively, on pitches that offer this sort of assistance to him, and on such pitches, he will do a pretty good job. As the ball gets older, he bowls with a lot of variety,” concluded Michael Holding.
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