India lost the first Test in their five-match series against England in Hyderabad by 28 runs. However, the hosts bounced back with a comprehensive 106-run win in the second Test in Visakhapatnam. The third Test begins on Thursday, February 15, in Rajkot.
Jasprit Bumrah has been one of the standout performers for India in the series thus far. It was expected that the spinners would rule the roost in the series, with conditions assisting their style of bowling. However, Bumrah has managed to deliver the goods and he is currently the leading wicket-taker in the series, having bagged 15 wickets at a remarkable average of 10.67.
In the second Test, the ace pacer bagged six wickets in the first innings and three in the second. He was fittingly adjudged the Player of the Match for his sensational performance. His yorker to dismiss Ollie Pope in the first innings earned him plaudits from fans as well as experts. Dale Steyn, who is regarded as one of the finest pacers of all time, lauded Bumrah for taking wickets on docile pitches and bowling wicket-taking yorkers.
“All round he’s a fantastic bowler. And it’s no surprise with his skiddy kind of action that he’s got that. He takes wickets on those docile pitches, so he’s fantastic. I don’t think there’s any Test bowlers right now who are able to run in and bowl essentially wicket-taking yorkers. To take wickets in Test matches, there are probably a handful of guys who could do that. Trent Boult was one of that, Mitchell Starc maybe. And obviously, Bumrah,” said Steyn while speaking to the media.
Bumrah rose to the top of the ICC rankings for Test bowlers with his match-winning performance in Visakhapatnam. Steyn noted that one of the things the 30-year-old has done well in recent times is to take the pitch out of the equation.
“I remember saying ages back that a good yorker bowled in India or South Africa or Australia remains a good yorker because you take the surface out of it, doesn’t matter where you bowled it. You take the pitch away and I think that’s one thing that he’s done really well,” Steyn stated.