Lakshmipathy Balaji, the former India pacer, reckons Jasprit Bumrah will only get better with time and calls him once-in-a-generation fast bowler. Since making his debut in 2016, Bumrah has quickly risen to become India’s top bowler across formats, and he’s counted among the finest bowlers of the current generation.
His rise has been more dramatic in Test cricket where he made his debut in 2018 amidst apprehensions whether he will be able to adjust to the rigours of the longest format, a skepticism fueled by his unorthodox action that many claim may end up resulting in a long-term fitness issue.
However, defying logic, Bumrah continues to dazzle, giving an example of his exceptional skills during India’s recent tour of England.
“Bumrah has made huge strides in his Test career,” Balaji told Indiatoday.com. “He will play a bigger role in the future. The way he has managed both white ball and red ball has been phenomenal to watch. Both the skills are totally different. Very rarely, you get a match of both the red-ball cricket and white-ball cricket bowling in superior form.”
Balaji, who played eight Tests, 30 ODIs and five T20Is during his India career, says the way Bumrah has evolved as a bowler across formats is quite rare and it is a quality which is mostly exhibited by batters.
“We have seen many batsmen doing it but very rarely do we see bowlers evolving with both the skills. Bumrah is a once-in-a-generation fast bowler. It’s not easy to replicate Bumrah. This generation, we are lucky to see talents like Bumrah and (Mohammed) Shami,” Balaji observed.
“When I started my career, great bowlers operated in tandem. Some like Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee. India’s Zaheer (Khan) and (Javagal) Srinath and Ashish played together. All these guys we have seen in the late 90s and early 2000s.
“What we’re seeing today is how far these guys are able to adapt and maintain their skill sets,” he added.