Team India opener KL Rahul has expressed surprise that Jasprit Bumrah’s nine-wicket haul in Nottingham against England is being considered as a ‘comeback’ by some. Rahul termed Bumrah as the team’s number one bowler and match-winner.
The swords were out against Bumrah after he went wicketless in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in pacer-friendly conditions. However, the fast bowler redeemed himself with a splendid bowling display in the first Test against England, claiming four wickets in the first innings and five in the second.
At the post-match conference, KL Rahul was asked about Bumrah’s return to form. A surprised Rahul answered:
“Sir, I don’t know why you are saying that (Jasprit) Bumrah has made a comeback.”
Praising Bumrah, Rahul added that the pacer is a proven performer and game-changer. The batter, who scored 84 in India’s first innings, further said:
“Every time, in every game, in every condition he has proved himself and he is our number one bowler. We are happy that he is doing what he is (has) been doing since he started playing Test cricket. Wherever he has played, he has been a match-winner for us. We are happy that he has done once again, what he does best.”
Bumrah gave India the perfect start in the Test by trapping Rory Burns lbw in the first over itself. He did not look back and added three more scalps as the visitors cleaned up England for 183.
Bumrah and all the other pacers bowled in the right channels: KL Rahul
While Bumrah was the standout performer with the ball for India, the other three pacers – Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj – also chipped in with crucial wickets. Shami and Shardul finished with four wickets in the Test and Siraj got three scalps.
Praising the bowling attack, Rahul stated that India stuck to their plans with the ball and were rewarded for the same. He elaborated:
“The way we bowled in the first innings and the discipline that we showed after losing the toss and bowling first (was a takeaway). It felt like team which won the toss had an advantage and we bowled with a lot of discipline. How Mohammed Shami and Bumrah started and how Shardul (Thakur) and Mohammed Siraj continued, how all of them worked together and bowled in the right channels. We saw there were a lot of misses but the way they stuck to their plans was great to see and they got the rewards.”
“Sometimes the bowlers can get carried away when lot is happening off the pitch and it says a lot about our bowling unit. There is a lot of experience in our bowling and they understand what exactly is expected of each one of them,” KL Rahul added.
Thanks to Bumrah and Co., India managed to restrict England to 303 in their second innings despite Joe Root’s ton. The visitors’ hopes of victory in a chase of 209, however, were washed away as rain allowed no play on Day 5.