Indian speedster Jasprit Bumrah went wicketless in the recently-concluded ODI series against New Zealand as the hosts completed a 3-0 sweep.
This was the first time in his career that Bumrah went wicketless in a full series. Former New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond feels that Bumrah didn’t bowl that badly and it was the conservative approach shown by the Blackcaps which went in their favour.
He further stated that this approach could well turn out to be a template for other teams on how to tackle Bumrah.
Bumrah also lost his no.1 position in the ODI rankings and will look to come good in the two-match Test series.
New Zealand identified Bumrah as a potential wicket-taking option and preferred playing out his overs without taking too many risks which eventually worked in their favour and helped them win the series 3-0.
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Speaking on New Zealand’s tactics against Bumrah, Bond said,
"That's the nature of expectations when you got a bowler of Jasprit's quality," Bond, the fastest New Zealand bowler during his time. I thought New Zealand played him well and identified him as a risk. They have played him conservatively and obviously there was some inexperience around (Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur).
"All teams will now identify him as a risk and attack others. So that's where the bowling group and what they do (as a group) is massive. It is not an easy place to bowl as wickets are flat. At the end of the day, all you can do is try and bowl well. He bowled reasonably well but sometimes you don't get wickets."
Bumrah came back from a stress fracture in the T20I series against Sri Lanka but didn’t show any rustiness whatsoever. He looked in good rhythm and followed it up with a good series against Australia at home.
However, he came under immense pressure during the T20I series against New Zealand, especially in the third and the fourth T20Is when he was entrusted to bowl the Super Overs.
Meanwhile, Bond, who has seen the rise of Bumrah from close quarters being the bowling coach of the Mumbai Indians, feels that the pacer will have a massive impact in the Test series.
"When you come back from a lay-off, it's always hard to get into the groove. Just that he hadn't had a lot of game before the series and conditions are a bit foreign.
"Although New Zealand played him well in limited overs, Jasprit will have a massive impact on the Test series. I have no doubt about that.
"It always takes time to get back to top form because there is no substitute of game time. So it's good for Jasprit that he is leading into Test matches with some short form cricket," quipped the former New Zealand speedster."
The first Test of the two-match series starts on 21st February at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.Published 18 Feb 2020, 16:20 IST