Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has rated Jasprit Bumrah as the neatest bowler in world cricket at present, along with Mohammad Amir.
Bumrah has been leading India’s pace attack in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series in the absence of the skilled Ishant Sharma and has been at his very best in the first two Tests even after losing his fast-bowling partners Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav to injuries.
Bumrah has bagged eight wickets in the two Tests, which is just 2 behind Pat Cummins and Ravichandran Ashwin’s tally within the series so far.
“I believe he’s most likely the neatest fast bowler. Bumrah, Mohammad Amir and even greater than Wasim Akram, the guy that I’ve seen bowling is Mohammad Asif. I have really seen batsmen crying while facing Asif. Laxman once mentioned ‘how will I face this guy‘, AB de Villiers literally started crying throughout the Asian Test Championship.
“However I believe after Asif, Bumrah is the neatest fast bowler presently. People have been doubtful about his fitness in Test cricket, even I used to be watching him closely. He has a quick bounce, is deceptive and sharp character”. Shoaib Akhtar told Boria Majumdar on Sports Today.
Akhtar also praised Bumrah for his attitude towards the game and pointed out that the Indian pacer exhibits aggression by way of the lengths he bowls, not in his body language.
“Bumrah has aggression in his length not in his body. That is how I shall outline Bumrah. Their is aggression in the size he bowls, he defeats the batsmen along with his length. His body language will not be aggressive, he’s the nicest man I’ve come across. But when he comes to bowl, in those 5 seconds he showcases his aggression in his length.
“It’s during those 5 seconds when he bowls that he tells the batsman ‘your not going to be better than me’. What I find very nice about him is that he thinks about his bowling, he’s a team man, good fast bowler and he’s a match-winner. What I feel ought to do is achieve a little bit of muscle mass. I advised this to Hardik Pandya also during the Asia Cup. Even Ravi Shastri agreed with me on this,” Akhtar mentioned.
The four-match series stands level at 1-1 after India’s memorable win within the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne earlier this week. It came on the back of the disaster in Adelaide where India got bowled out for their lowest Test score of 36 after dominating the match for the first two days. Australia won that pink-ball game by eight wickets inside three days.
The two teams will now travel to Sydney on January four for the third Test which shall be played at the Sydney Cricket Floor from January 7.