NEW DELHI: Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been facing criticism after he returned wicket-less from the recently concluded 3-match ODI series of the Men in Blue against New Zealand. However, former Indian bowling star, Zaheer Khan came out in his defense and talked about how big standards Bumrah has set.
Speaking in an interview, Khan said, "When you build a reputation like how Jasprit Bumrah has built now over the years, you will have to fight this. Bumrah is in a phase where teams are saying ‘even if we get thirty-five runs we are happy with that as long as we are not giving him wickets because then we can attack the other bowlers’."
He further continued and said, "That is something which Bumrah will have to understand that he has to be extra aggressive in terms of looking to get those wickets because he knows the batsmen are going to be defensive. So, he has to find that way of going for wickets rather than hoping that the batsmen will make a mistake because batsmen are taking a very conservative approach and making sure that his wicket-taking column is not getting filled."
"It’s a good sign that other batsmen are giving him that respect so it’s Bumrah’s call to now basically make them play. He has to make the play now rather than batsman playing him out," he concluded.
Bumrah though returned empty-handed from the series, his economy rate was certainly maintained. Following his performance, he even had to give up his top spot in the latest ICC ODI Rankings that was announced on Wednesday. Kiwis pacer Trent Boult, who was absent from the series, replaced Bumrah to the number one position as the Indian bowler took the second spot.
Trent Boult claims No.1 spot in the latest @MRFWorldwide ICC Men's ODI Bowling rankings as Jasprit Bumrah slips to second position after a wicket-less run in the recently concluded #NZvIND series. pic.twitter.com/6L5aPN1fjR— ICC (@ICC) February 12, 2020
This was the first time in any bilateral ODI until now that Bumrah returned with zero wickets. It can be counted as one of the reasons why NZ players successfully chased big totals and clean swept the series.