India and England shared spoils after the fifth day of the first Test got washed out at Nottingham. Joe Root was awarded as the Man of the Match for his decisive knocks. In the second innings of the Test, the England captain scored a wonderful century to pull his team from the depths of trouble and also ensured the final day would come into action.
Legendary Indian pacer Zaheer Khan, however, feels otherwise. According to him, Jasprit Bumrah should’ve been chosen as the man of the match after a sensational bowling performance. Speaking to Cricbuzz, Zaheer said that Bumrah had set the tempo of the match right from the start and pounced on any opportunity he could sense.
“If I had to pick only one player of the match, then definitely I would go with Bumrah. Reason is clear for that. He set the tone of the Test match from the first over. Yes, Joe Root is a very big player, he played a brilliant knock and kept England in the game. But even then, it wasn’t easy to win/draw for them. For that reason, Bumrah was the match-winner.
Bumrah accounted for nine wickets in the first Test at Trent Bridge, including a fifer in the second innings. He turned around his dismal form from the WTC Final where he went wicketless to give India the momentum to secure a victory in the very first match before rain played spoilsport. He also enjoyed a wonderful day with the bat in the second innings and managed to score 28 off 34 deliveries which included three fours and a six. This helped India to stretch their lead to 95 runs with the tail-enders at the crease.
“He started well, picked wickets throughout. In this match, India’s lower-order did well and Bumrah performed better with the bat as well compared to his England counterparts. He even didn’t let England tail hang around bowling some sensational swinging yorkers. So, I feel Bumrah should’ve been the player of the match,” Zaheer Khan further added.
The former Indian pacer was also impressed by captain Virat Kohli and the team management’s decision to play four pacers in the opening Test. “India played four pacers and went with Thakur as the seam-bowling all-rounder and that was very impressive. Another positive for India was Jadeja scoring a fifty at a critical stage of the innings,” concluded Zak.