Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan has advised Jasprit Bumrah to be more aggressive in the middle and needle the opposition at times. He also added that the Indian pace spearhead took his game to a different level after he got embroiled in heated verbal exchanges with the English players.
After a terrific comeback to form in the Test series opener, Jasprit Bumrah didn't have a great outing in the first innings of the Lord's Test. He had gone wicketless, giving away 79 runs in 26 overs, having bowled 13 no-balls. He was also involved in a heated argument with English No.11 James Anderson after he tried to bounce out the tail-ender, who wasn't one bit impressed with his tactics.
And things didn't die down there as England further used the short-ball ploy against India's lower-order batters on the final day when Bumrah came out to bat. However, after that, Bumrah and Mohammed Shami combined in a match-turning partnership with the bat and followed it up with a great opening burst with the red-cherry. Bumrah, in particular, was spitting fire, and took out Rory Burns early and subsequently outfoxed Joe Root and Ollie Robinson at crucial junctures to help India win the second Test.
Reflecting on the Lord's Test, Zaheer Khan stated that Bumrah can be a little more aggressive and shouldn't mind needling the opposition batters sometimes.
"If by getting angry, he can carry himself and perform like this, I believe he should at times needle the opposition. See, in the first innings, he had gone wicketless and being the class bowler that he is, I’m sure it must have bothered him," Zaheer Khan said on Cricbuzz, reported India Today.
"After that, the whole Anderson episode that unfolded, the bouncers he bowled to him and then while batting, the manner in which the England pacer went after him all those things motivated him, and he channelised that anger in the right way. England must be thinking ‘we should have let Bumrah bowl bouncers’ and not mess with him. The intensity with which he bowled, was worth praising."
One of the most intriguing ploys in the Lord's Test came in the closing phases of the game. With Ollie Robinson and Jos Buttler looking set to bail out England and salvage a draw, Bumrah went round the wicket and delivered a peach of a slower delivery that bamboozled Robinson all ends up and opened the gates for an iconic win. Zaheer further stated that Bumrah's thinking behind the Robinson wicket was 'fabulous'.
"Bowling a slower ball is challenging, but to bowl it from round the wicket, from that angle to get a batsman out LBW, you need bowl from close to the wicket, which is never easy. Bumrah did a very tough job. The thought process was excellent. When you’re coming round the wicket, even the batsman is thinking ‘they might use the bouncer more’. To bring out that kind of variation and to have that thinking to get that wicket, Bumrah was fabulous," he mentioned.