Former Indian speedster Zaheer Khan hailed his current counterpart Jasprit Bumrah as an asset for Team India. Decoding Bumrah for The Quint, Zaheer credited his bowling action and the awkward angle it creates for much of his success in the recent past.
"“He (Jasprit Bumrah) is a match-winner and an exceptional talent no doubt about that. His action has an advantage which works as an asset for him in terms of creating that awkward angle.”" - Zaheer Khan
“And with that natural ability, he has been constantly learning and evolving himself which has been the main reason for his success at the international level,” added Zaheer.
12-match-old in Test cricket, Bumrah has already accounted for 62 wickets and is currently nursing an injury due to which he is out of action.
Zaheer, who is also no stranger to fitness issues faced by Indian bowlers, stressed on the fact that in the coming times a lot will depend on the young pacer’s ability to understand his body and dealing with the fitness challenges.
"“More he learns to understand his body, coping up with the fitness challenges better he is going to be in the future and he truly is an asset for the Indian team.”" - Zaheer Khan
Not only in Tests, Jasprit Bumrah has been India’s strike bowler in all three formats and is currently world number two in ODI rankings. Meanwhile, in Test he occupies the number four position.
Apart from Bumrah, Zaheer also explained what led to the sudden surge in bowling talent in the country. Praising the current infrastructure at place, Zaheer attributed the success to the kind exposure available to budding cricketers these days in India.
“The cricket infrastructure has improved a lot over time in India and that is a process which is in continuation. Also, the exposure to the highest level for all the youngsters happen in a much better and structured way now with a lot of India A matches and opportunities like IPL,” Zaheer said.
Speaking about the contribution of IPL, the veteran pacer highlighted that fact that the competition allows lot of young cricketers to players spend time with experienced international cricketers, which can only be beneficial for them
"“In IPL, lot of players get time to rub shoulders with experienced international cricketers so that also changes the whole dynamics in terms of your approach and in terms of understanding of what is required to be successful at the highest level.”" - Zaheer Khan
India are going to play their maiden Day-Night Test in Kolkata against Bangladesh from 22 November. Explaining the challenges that might come up due to the change in timings, Zaheer couldn’t hide his excitement as well as curiosity regarding the newest innovation in the world of cricket.
“I am very excited and looking forward to the new format as such in terms of Day-Night cricket. The timings and dynamics are certainly going to be different,” said Zaheer
Usually you have seen a fast bowler being used in a particular manner but during the Test match this will certainly change because the timing of play is going to change. So, that is something which I am looking forward to,” added Zaheer.
"“Evenings will be the time when you will see more help for fast bowlers. So, it will be interesting to see how the stake of the overs go over the period of play during the day. And how captains are adapting to it.”" - Zaheer Khan
Regarding the pink ball that is used in the Day-Night version of the Test, Zaheer was quick to caution about the extra bounce that might be generated.
“Also, pink ball will have different behaviour in terms of nature. As the match progresses the ball will get older and how it moves with the new ball. We have seen in different conditions that there has been some extra bounce with the pink ball,” said Zaheer.
Currently, Zaheer is in Abu Dhabi participating in the third edition of the T10 League. Playing for the Delhi Bulls in the competition, this is his second season in the league. According to the Mumbai pacer, it is the duration of the game and the different challenges associated with it that attracts him to shortest format of cricket.
"“The format is such that it is the right dose of cricket for me. It finishes in 90 minutes that is 40 minutes an innings, which makes it interesting and competitive as well. It is a different challenge and I like to bring that competitive edge just for a short time in a year.”" - Zaheer Khan
Zaheer is yet to taste success this season with the ball. His team has qualified for the Super League stage but Zaheer is yet to take a wicket in the competition. Allowed to bowl two overs in every match, he has till now managed figures of 0/14, 0/13 and 0/12 in the competition.
Expected to be a batsman-friendly format like the T20, but Zaheer begs to differ. He believes it is the batsmen, who are under more pressure and that the bowlers have to be creative enough to take advantage of the situation.
“In terms of challenge it is more challenging for batsman because they have to start from the word go and that’s something which puts a little bit more pressure on him,” said Zaheer.
"“As a bowler you have to understand the situation of the game and be on your toes to figure out the strength and weakness of the batsman, what plan the batsman has, which area is he looking to target and look to counter that.”" - Zaheer Khan
“As a bowler you need to stay ahead in the contest and figure out ways to contain batsman and win matches for your team,” Zaheer signed off.
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