Team India head coach Ravi Shastri opened up on his plan for Indian speedster Jasprit Bumrah’s arrival in Test cricket.
Bumrah has risen to the highest ranks of Indian fast bowlers in Test cricket since making his debut against South Africa in 2018.
No one believed Jasprit Bumrah could play Test cricket: Ravi Shastri
The Ahmedabad-born bowler started his Test career by crashing into the stumps of South Africa’s greatest batsman AB de Villiers in the first Test in Cape Town.
Bumrah had set himself as a white-ball specialist bowler before Shastri decided to play him in the South Africa Test series.
“No one believed Jasprit Bumrah could play Test cricket. He was a white-ball bowler. But when I took over as coach I asked myself: ‘How do I take 20 wickets overseas?’ Shastri told The Guardian.
“I knew I needed four great fast bowlers because I had played so much Test cricket against the West Indies. It started in South Africa in 2018 and we lost that fantastic series 2-1.
“I wanted to unleash Bumrah in that first Test in Cape Town. I bounced the idea off Virat months before and told the selectors: ‘Do not unleash him in India. I don’t want the world to see him in Test cricket before Cape Town.’ That was three years ago. Since then he’s taken 101 wickets [in 24 Tests]. It’s remarkable,” he added.
Jasprit Bumrah picked 18 wickets against England
In the recent four Test matches against England, Bumrah claimed 18 wickets, the highest among Indian bowlers and he was only behind England pacer Ollie Robinson, whose tally is 21.
In the second innings of the Oval Test, Bumrah got the important wickets of Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow that helped India to script England’s batting collapse as the hosts were bowled out for 210.
Bumrah became the fastest Indian pacer to reach 100 wickets in Test cricket in 24 matches that broke Kapil Dev’s long-standing record in 25 games.