Indian National Cricket Team will begin their ICC World Cup 2019 campaign against South Africa on June 5 (Wednesday) at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. As they gear up for the opener, former Australia cricketer Glenn McGrath has picked Jasprit Bumrah to be India’s X-Factor for the tournament.

Bumrah key to India’s success: McGrath

Meanwhile, Bumrah has been India’s first-choice fast bowler since he made his debut in 2016. So far he has picked 85 wickets from 49 matches and has been one of the highest wicket-takers since he made his debut. Jasprit Bumrah’s ability to bowl quick and variations make him one of the rare commodities in the cricket world. The Men in Blues is likely to go in two pacers and spinners each along with a fast bowling all-rounder for their World Cup opener.

Indian National Cricket Team
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While many former cricketers have opined that Virat Kohli & Co will be predictable, Glenn McGrath feels India should back their strengths. The legendary seamer also rated Jasprit Bumrah to be the key to India’s success. He also laid down the strategies the young fast bowler needs to follow and wants Bumrah to continue his form from the IPL.

“If a combination works, I see no reason to change that. Bumrah will be key to India’s success. He needs to bowl well in the powerplay and at the death. The runs you save in the powerplay really matters. Bumrah needs to be accurate, mix his slower ones up nicely. His short deliveries must catch batsmen by surprise like he did in IPL,” McGrath said.

Elli Avram, Hardik Pandya
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Moreover, Glenn McGrath feels Hardik Pandya will also be a crucial component in the middle overs. Hardik has done well with both bat and ball in the IPL and will hope to keep up the excellent work in his first World Cup.

“Middle overs are important. This is where many teams let the opposition off the hook. Hardik Pandya’s role here will be important,” McGrath concluded.

In conclusion, Glenn McGrath said that South Africa will be under pressure coming from two defeats. Notably, the Proteas went down against England and Bangladesh in the first two games.