Former West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh feels Jasprit Bumrah has the potential to reach the same heights as English duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Walsh, however, believes the key to Jasprit Bumrah extending his career will be to stay fit.
“He has the potential to reach where Anderson and Broad have. He is a very skilful bowler. He has a funny run-up that people might want to change. But it is what is best for him,” Walsh, who was the first-ever player to reach 500 wickets in Test cricket, told Times of India.
While Anderson became the first fast bowler to pick up 600 Test wickets in the recently-concluded series against Pakistan, Broad scripted history by becoming the fourth fast bowler to enter the elite 500-wicket club in the previous series against the West Indies. The other two pacers are Walsh himself with 519 wickets from 132 Tests and Australia’s Glenn McGrath with 563 wickets in 124 matches.
In addition to statutory skill requirement, the longevity of all four pacers has let them stay in the longest format of the game for more than a decade. Walsh echoes this sentiment.
“If he [Jasprit Bumrah] stays fit, he could make his mark in a big way in all formats. It is just about how hungry he is to achieve success,” Walsh further added.
Jasprit Bumrah’s lean phase of late
Jasprit Bumrah had a flying start to his Test career after his debut against South Africa in 2018. Interestingly, it was on this day last year that Bumrah became the third Indian to pick up a Test hat-trick. He returned figures of 6 for 27 in the second Test against the West Indies in Jamaica.
But, Bumrah's unusual action caused a stress fracture in his lower back in September of last year. He recovered in time for the New Zealand tour earlier this year, but could not match his earlier performances.
Jasprit Bumrah picked 6 wickets in the 2 Tests, 6 wickets in 5 T20Is and went wicketless in the 3-match ODI series. The coronavirus-enforced break, thus, would have done him a world of good and he will take a shot at redemption in the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League, which starts from September 19th.