Former pacer Zaheer Khan has urged the other Indian bowlers to back skipper Jasprit Bumrah with good performances on Day 5 of the Birmingham Test. According to him, India have a chance of winning the Test against England only if all the bowlers fire.
Bumrah was (2/53) the only Indian bowler to get among the wickets as England batted themselves into a commanding position chasing 378. They ended Day 4 needing only 119 runs with seven wickets in hand as Joe Root (76*) and Jonny Bairstow (72*) added an undefeated 150 for the fourth wicket.
Reflecting on India’s bowling performance on Day 4 of the Birmingham Test, Zaheer lamented the lack of support for captain Bumrah. He told Cricbuzz:
“Bumrah needs support from the other bowlers. When (Mohammed) Shami was bowling with him, it seemed opportunities could be created. But if India are thinking of victory, all the bowlers will have to deliver. India need to work on their mentality and come out with an assertive mindset on Day 5.”
While Bumrah picked up a couple of wickets on Monday, Shami had figures of 0 for 49 from 12 overs. Mohammed Siraj was taken for 64 runs in his 10 overs, while Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur conceded 55 and 33 runs in 15 and seven overs, respectively.
“Bowl seven wicket-taking deliveries quickly” - Zaheer Khan on India’s mantra for Day 5
Looking forward to the last day’s play in the Test match, Zaheer stated that the only way out for India now is to go all out and look for wickets early. The 43-year-old elaborated:
“They cannot be defensive because they do not have enough runs to play with. They need to attack and claim early wickets. If they can knock over a couple early, they can put pressure back on England. Bowl seven wicket-taking deliveries quickly, that’s it.”
Zaheer admitted that India are still in with a chance because they have some runs left on the board, but added that they would need some help from the weather. The former pacer explained:
“India will have to hope for overcast conditions so that they can get a couple of wickets early. But England are definitely ahead of India now. Credit to them for the fightback after being behind in the game for so long.”
Chasing 378, England got off to an excellent start as openers Alex Lees (56) and Zak Crawley (46) added 107. After a brief stutter when they lost three quick wickets, Root and Bairstow frustrated India with their excellent partnership.