Having worked closely with him in the IPL, former New Zealand quick and bowling coach of Mumbai Indians Shane Bond is confident that Jasprit Bumrah is the best fast bowler going around in the world. Bond, for whom this isn’t the first time praising Bumrah, explained the combination of several nitty-gritties, coupled with the desire to be head and shoulder above the rest is what makes Bumrah the best in the world.
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“He has a desire to continue to be the best bowler in the world. I think he is. I think he is the best fast bowler. He is a gun,” Bond was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald about Bumrah.
Being regarded as the best fast bowler in the world takes quite a bit of doing, especially when your peers are Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Mitchell Starc, Mohammed Shami among others. But one would believe Bumrah deserves the tag given what he’s achieved just four years into his international career. Since his Test debut in early 2018, Bumrah became the only Asian bowler to take a five-wicket haul in South Africa, England and Australia. Last year, he became the fastest Indian pacer to 50 Test wickets.
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And besides, the fact that he has excelled with his unorthodox action is one of the factors that make Bumrah special, reckons Bond.
“He hadn’t played yet and people say: ‘Will he be any good?’ There was a lot of talk about his action and that he will get injured and this sort of stuff. He is certainly unorthodox in the way his actions looks. He has a short delivery stride but he has got a strong, braced front leg, he has a supple wrist and, obviously, bowls fast and can move the ball around and is very, very skilled,” Bond said.
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“He has also got that very strong belief in himself. Sometimes you meet players and work with players that don’t have that. With him, it’s definitely not like that. He has an air of confidence about his own game.”
Touching upon his action, Bond feels that even after four years, there is a surprise element about Bumrah and his bowling. “He doesn’t run in fast. He sort of trots in and then the last few steps he really accelerates. He, obviously, has those straight arms which are a bit different. But for a guy that is not that big and doesn’t run in too fast, he has got good acceleration and he is genuinely quick,” he explained.
“I think that sometimes that can shock you as a batter. But the other thing is he has the ability to shift the ball both ways.”