Would not have Jasprit Bumrah as my new ball bowler, says Michael Holding
Former West Indian fast bowler and commentator Michael Holding has, once again, attracted the ire of Indian fans by questioning Jasprit Bumrah's new-ball bowling ability. Holding made the comments on Bumrah on-air, stating 'he is not a new-ball bowler' and that he 'wouldn't have picked him for the England series'.
The West Indian was in the news after he criticised Hardik Pandya before the third Test where the all-rounder picked his maiden Test fifer and slammed a quick-fire half-century. Bumrah claimed five English wickets as well, albeit in the second innings.
Holding, however, in an interview with Times of India, has refused to back off on his words.
"I would still not have him (Bumrah) as my opening bowler. Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami do a bit more with the brand new ball and they will remain my opening bowlers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar's absence," he said.
"What I have seen is he can get the ball to straighten from wide of the crease and is more effective with the slightly older ball," he added.
"What you have to remember is that in England, with so much assistance from both pitch and atmosphere for the quick bowlers, Bumrah will get the odd ball to straighten on the right-handers' off-stump, although his action doesn't enhance his ability to do so. The same delivery in South Africa, Australia, etc would not straighten as it can tend to do in England. He has pace, though, which is a welcome asset that cannot be bought," adds Holding.
The 64-year-old went on to clarify his stance on Pandya as well.
"Please go back and listen to or read what I have said about Pandya. I was more critical of the people who were telling me he is the next Kapil Dev, not of Pandya himself. I have gone on to say that he is not the man to fill that sort of role as yet, batting at No. 6 and bowling. What I am glad also to see is that I read somewhere that he had said he doesn't want to be known as the new Kapil Dev; he is Hardik Pandya, which is the right attitude," Holding said.