Real show stealer is 'BoomBall': Ashwin heaps praises on Bumrah

New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) Veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin lavished rich praise on fast-bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah for being the ‘real show stealer’ for his sensational match haul of nine wickets in the 106-run win over England in the second Test at Visakhapatnam.

Bumrah’s nine-wicket match haul, which included a brilliant 6/45 in the first innings at Visakhapatnam, helped India beat England by 106 runs to level the five-game series at 1-1, with the next match to begin at Rajkot on February 15.

Days after being given Player of the Match award and becoming the fastest Indian bowler to reach 150 wickets in the format, Bumrah became the first fast-bowler from the country to be at top of the ICC Men’s Test Bowling Rankings.

“The real show stealer is BoomBall. We saw a little of Jaisball also. Jasprit Bumrah has bowled extraordinarily. He is the leading wicket-taker with 14 wickets and also the No.1 ranked Test bowler. I am a huge fan of his and this is a Himalayan feat,” said Ashwin on his YouTube channel.

He also praised young batters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill, who scored 209 and 104 respectively in the Visakhapatnam Test. “Yashasvi Jaiswal has shown enormous growth. He scored a double-century. In fact, he came down and hit James Anderson towards the extra covers and got out after a double century. There’s no doubt about the amount of talent that Shubman Gill has. But the hundred justified just the kind of armor he had as a batter.”

Ashwin, who is one wicket from reaching the remarkable feat of 500 scalps in the format, further stated why the hosts’ don’t have any real home advantage. “There’s never been a marquee Test series like this in five such venues before. In 2017, we played Tests against Australia in Ranchi and Dharamshala.

“However, in that series, the other venues were Pune and Bangalore. Usually, if there are 4-5 match Test series, at least one or two happen in metro cities. Unlike that, this time, it’s happening in venues that weren’t a part of the World Cup matches. For most Indian players themselves, these venues are new,” he said.

“There are a lot of players playing in our own team who have not played a test match or a first-class in the Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium. I am not sure if this is possible in any other country. In India, it is possible because there are so many Test venues here.

“If you take the case of England, in this Test series, Tom Hartley made his debut. If Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmed are playing a Test match in England, they can never say I’ve not played in Lancashire ground or Worcestershire ground. In fact, the matches never happen in Worcestershire.

“They cannot say that they have never played in Surrey Oval because they would have played. Not just the county matches, but even the Test matches there happen in these venues. But in India, because there are so many venues, even for Indian players it’s the first time they are playing a test or even a first-class match in these venues.

“So the home familiarity has gone missing in these cases. Of course, they would have played IPL, T20 or ODI matches here and there. But in playing red ball in a longer format, the familiarity really makes a difference,” Ashwin concluded.

–IANS

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