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“We have played him exceptionally well at times” – Joe Root on Jasprit Bumrah challenge



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England captain Joe Root on Wednesday admitted that Jasprit Bumrah is one of the best fast-bowlers in the world. But he downplayed the threat posed by the fast bowler ahead of the fifth and final Test against India in Manchester.

Root said his batting unit has played Bumrah ‘exceptionally well’ at times in the series, and will look to do the same in Manchester. Joe Root’s remarks come a few days after Jasprit Bumrah blew England off with a blistering spell of reverse-swing bowling.

The Indian pacer accounted for Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow – both clean-bowled – in consecutive overs to trigger an English collapse. India won the game by 157 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

“He bowled a brilliant spell; he’s widely renowned as one of the best fast-bowlers in the world. But we have also played him very well at times throughout the series as well. I think it’s really important we remember that as a batting group that we have had good success against him too. We really have to look back at the game (at Leeds), I think we played him exceptionally well,” Joe Root said at a pre-match media conference.

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Root has urged his teammates to look at their bowling superstar, James Anderson. Like Bumrah, Anderson, too, has bowled the occasional unplayable spells which, according to the England captain, could make for ‘great cricket’ in the final Test. He said in this regard:

“That’s Test cricket, you can argue the same about James Anderson, the way he’s bowled and put pressure on the Indian batsmen at times during this series. You’ve got very, very high class performers on either side there that have bowled spells capable of turning the tide of a Test match.”

“It makes for great cricket; it’s a great challenge for the batting group to face someone of his quality, and I’m very much looking forward to going toe-to-toe against him (Bumrah) this week,” concluded Root.

Joe Root’s battle with Jasprit Bumrah could decide the series

Jasprit Bumrah’s devastating spell in the fourth Test sets up a riveting contest in Manchester. Root is currently the series’ top scorer, with 564 runs from seven innings. His runs generally prove to be the difference between an England win and a loss.

Jasprit Bumrah, meanwhile, has shown glimpses of his prowess, and, one would like to think, he is due for a five-wicket haul. So far in this series, Joe Root has lost his wicket thrice to Bumrah, scoring 106 runs against him at an average of 35.3.

Their duel in Manchester might decide which team wins the Pataudi Trophy.

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