Ravi Shastri has opened up about how Jasprit Bumrah earned his maiden call to Test cricket during the India tour of South Africa. The Indian head coach further stated that he convinced Virat Kohli and the selectors to bring Bumrah into red-ball cricket by unleashing him in overseas conditions.
Team India’s premium pacer Jasprit Bumrah earned his maiden international in 2016 during the Australia series. During the initial days of his career in international cricket, he was considered to be a white-ball pacer, and his critics doubted his ability to play red-ball cricket for India. It was during the South Africa tour in 2018, Bumrah received his Test cap and since then he became India’s spearhead in all formats of the game.
Meanwhile, Ravi Shastri revealed that he played a crucial role in bringing Bumrah to Test Cricket. The Indian head coach stated that he convinced the selectors and Virat Kohli to not unleash Bumrah in Indian pitches. He further added that since Bumrah’s Test debut, he has been remarkable with the red ball.
“No one believed Jasprit Bumrah could play Test cricket. He was a white-ball bowler. But when I took over as coach I asked myself: ‘How do I take 20 wickets overseas. I knew I needed four great fast bowlers because I had played so much Test cricket against the West Indies.
"It started in South Africa in 2018 and we lost that fantastic series 2-1. I wanted to unleash Bumrah in that first Test in Cape Town. I bounced the idea off Virat months before and told the selectors: ‘Do not unleash him in India. I don’t want the world to see him in Test cricket before Cape Town.’ That was three years ago. Since then he’s taken 101 wickets. It’s remarkable,” said Shastri to The Guardian.
During the fourth Test at The Oval against England, Jasprit Bumrah marked his name on record books by becoming the fastest Indian pacer to clinch 100 wickets from 24 matches in Test cricket. Bumrah surpassed Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev, who had taken 25 Tests to reach the 100-wicket milestone.