This is the second time that the Indian cricket team have retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Australia on the other hand, have been able to do it only once so far.
Credit for this stupendous show by India goes to their crop of quicks. One thing that needs to be mentioned is Jasprit Bumrah’s rise in Test cricket. It has been quite a dreamy sequence.
The reason for the same is that the promising bowler made his Test debut earlier in 2018 against South Africa. And all of the Tests he has played this year, came in overseas countries. Besides SA, Bumrah got to show his strides in England and now Australia.
India won the third Test at the MCG against Australia to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series. The visitors enjoyed a 137-run victory. And Bumrah picked a staggering nine wickets in the Test. The presentation was at another level. It gave India the cushion they longed for. Bumrah fed on the Aussies and his variations spoke volumes.
It has been a fantastic season for Indian pace bowlers. The three main pacers Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami, finished 2018 with 130+ wickets between them. Bumrah picked up a total of 48 wickets in this rout. All of his wickets have come away from home. This suggests how the player enjoys the conditions that cater to pace bowling.
Bumrah has found solace in Australia
Bumrah, named man of the match after India’s 137-run win, dismissed Pat Cummins (63) to pick up one of the last two wickets required on Day five on Sunday. He finished with career-best figures of 9-86, the biggest test haul by an Indian quick in Australia.
The fast bowler now leads the series with 20 victims, three more than Australia spinner Nathan Lyon. Heading into the fourth and final test in Sydney, Bumrah has the credentials to end as the highest wicket-taker in the series.
Bumrah has been on song and his best came in Melbourne. His aggression and desire to make it count made the difference. From slower balls, fuller deliveries and potent short balls, Bumrah was all over the hosts. One by one he got the victims and that included the main crop. It was the first innings here at the MCG, where the bowler derived the maximum. Figures of 6/33 helped India gain control.
Bumrah has dominated the show away from home
Legendary AB de Villiers was Bumrah’s first Test wicket in his career earlier this year. JB went on to claim match figures of 4/112 in his debut Test, which India lost by 72 runs. The best moment came in the third Test against the Proteas, when Bumrah picked 7/111 and player a major role in handing the side a consolation victory.
By the end of this series, Bumrah had defined his presence in the side. India had found a superstar, who had already made a name in limited-overs cricket over the years. Against England, the right-arm pacer managed to feature in just three Tests. But despite India’s 1-4 loss in the series, JB’s potential was there to see. 14 wickets in England was a decent return.
Against the Aussies now, Bumrah has matured into a dangerous entity. He looks venomous and full of zeal. The 20 scalps show how pivotal he has been for skipper Virat Kohli, who has turned up to him in crucial junctures of a Test match.
He became the first Asian bowler to take five-wicket hauls in Australia, England and South Africa in the same calendar year. This is utter domination.
Ishant, Shami have supported him well
India cannot forget the impact Shami and Ishant have had in this period. The two players chipped in consistently and helped JB settle down. Together, the three fast bowlers have formed a unit that can be termed as the best in the world at the moment.
Ishant and Shami’s experience have done wonders for Bumrah. All three know their roles and provide different qualities and approach to a Test. That’s pleasing to the eye. The quartet brings the desired balance required in a side to win one matches.
The trio of Bumrah, Shami and Ishant has picked up 130+ wickets between themselves in 2018 and as a result, they broke the 34-year-old record which was previously held by the legendary West Indies trio of Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Malcolm Marshall.
The Windies greats had taken 130 wickets in 1984. They are followed by the South African pace trio of Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini and Dale Steyn who managed to take 123 wickets in 2008.
Is Bumrah the best in the world?
Victory in Sydney would justify India’s ranking as the world’s No.1 side. India are not expected to lower their guard and instead fight with the same intensity. The player one should look forward to is Bumrah.
The fast bowler looks complete with his unorthodox action and skidding deliveries. With an average of 14.65 in the series, Bumrah hasn’t shied away. His ability to extract swing, particularly with the old ball, has been pivotal in Australia’s demise.
Indian captain Kohli was gushing about the 25-year-old and gave an honest analysis on him in his post-match press conference. Kohli praised Bumrah for his mindset and ranked him as the best in the world.
“The mindset he has is what separates him from anyone else in the world right now. He looks at a pitch and doesn’t think it’s a hard toil – he thinks wickets. He thinks, ‘how can I make a breakthrough for the team’. Your mindset separates you from the rest,” said the player.
Kohli also added that he wouldn’t want to face Bumrah at the moment.
“The areas he has been bowling so soon, so quickly in his Test career, I think is a very scary sign for all the batsmen around the world. In Test cricket, if there is a pitch like Perth, I wouldn’t want to face Jasprit Bumrah to be honest because he is once on a roll, he can really crank it up.”