India's ex-bowling coach Eric Simons has heaped praised on Jasprit Bumrah by comparing him to Lasith Malinga for his ability to bring variations into his game. Simons also appreciated other Indian pacers stating that they have shown good patience and stuck to their plans in the first two Tests.
The tour of South Africa turned out to be very special one for Bumrah as he got a chance to make his debut in the longest format of the game against one of the top Test teams in the World. His brilliant performances in the limited-overs format appear to have won the trust of selectors as they decided to pick him for the three-match Test series. Bumrah's unorthodox bowling style and ability to bowl with variations added plus points and Simons compared him to Sri Lankan legend Malinga.
“I have seen him a few times, particularly in the shorter formats. The more variations you have, or the more unorthodoxy in your bowling action, the more advantage you have. He is somebody I could compare with Lasith Malinga, whose action was so different. The batsmen get so used to playing normal bowlers that these little variations help. “Suddenly something different comes along and the ball doesn’t come to you quite how you expect it to, and that tends to help the bowler,” Simons said as quoted by PTI.
Bumrah made his first Test series memorable as he bagged four wickets in the first Test and in the second he accounted for three wickets. He learned from his mistakes in the first Test and became more successful in the second Test in Centurion and bowled with more composure. And Simons added that Bumrah’s hard-working nature and always ready to learn mode has helped him
“So with Bumrah, he doesn’t have a classical action and he has worked very hard to get where he has. In that, he is more like Kagiso Rabada. He is humble, grounded and listens when people talk to him about improvement. You combine that with his different action and it becomes his strength as a bowler in many ways. It is like batsmen who are limited, but you look at the likes of Steve Smith, who has made his limitation his strength. Bumrah is in at that
The Indian batsmen failed to continue their winning form on South African soil losing the first two Tests to concede the series with one match to go. The team faced a lot of criticism for their lax attitude while batting but no questions were raised on the performance of the bowling department, who tried hard to keep India’s chances alive throughout the match. Simons, who had closely observed the bowling department in 2011 during his tenure as the bowling coach of the Indian side when they lifted the World Cup at home, appreciated the Indian pace battery for working into the right areas even when under pressure.
“As a coach, I don’t always go according to the results. So, in both the first two Tests, India’s bowling attack has done a top job. What they did really well was have good tactics and plans in place, and they executed those plans too,” Simons said.
“Cape Town and Centurion were different wickets, but on both of them, sometimes bowlers become impatient and try a lot of things. Indian bowlers though showed good patience and stuck to their plans.
"Again, the key to their bowling plans has been patience. We saw in Newlands that they beat the edge so many times but didn’t get frustrated when small partnerships happened. At Centurion, they bowled fuller lengths as per the conditions and didn’t give away too many runs.”