Former India pacer Laxmipathy Balaji has heaped high praise on India’s ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah. The 27-year-old has made rapid strides in all three formats of the game ever since he made his international debut back in 2016.
He has become Virat Kohli’s go-to man with the ball in all three formats and was recently seen in superb form in the Test series against India. He picked up 18 wickets in four matches and was the second highest wicket-taker in the series after England’s Ollie Robinson. Now he is in the UAE preparing with Mumbai Indians for the second leg of IPL 2021.
Balaji is also in the UAE where he is coaching Chennai Super Kings and he thinks that Bumrah is made for much bigger things and could take a leadership role in the future.
“Bumrah has made huge strides in his Test career. He will play a bigger role in the future. The way he has managed both white ball and red ball has been phenomenal to watch. Both the skills are totally different. Very rarely, you get a match of both the red-ball cricket and white-ball cricket bowling in superior form,” Balaji was quoted as saying by Indiatoday.in.
“We have seen many batsmen doing it but very rarely do we see bowlers evolving with both the skills. Bumrah is a once-in-a-generation fast bowler. It’s not easy to replicate Bumrah. This generation, we are lucky to see talents like Bumrah and (Mohammed) Shami.
“When I started my career, great bowlers operated in tandem. Some like Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee. India’s Zaheer (Khan) and (Javagal) Srinath and Ashish played together. All these guys we have seen in the late 90s and early 2000s.
“What we’re seeing today is how far these guys are able to adapt and maintain their skill sets,” he added.
Balaji also mentioned about Bumrah’s ability to handle responsibility and be a leader.
“Bumrah is one exceptional bowler. I see him not only as a skilful bowler but he has leadership quality. He has been shouldering responsibility very well at a very young age. The way he has handled the responsibility of the team has been phenomenal,” Balaji said.
Bumrah has played 24 Tests, 67 ODIs and 50 T20Is till date in which he has picked up 101, 108 and 59 wickets respectively.