AUS v IND 2018

Bumrah ‘best in the world’ and I don’t want to face him in Test cricket, said Kohli

India skipper lavishes praise on his star paceman after a scintillating third Test display

Photo: Darrian Traynor - CA / Cricket Australia / Getty Images

India captain Virat Kohli has declared Jasprit Bumrah “the best bowler in the world” following the superstar paceman’s player-of-the-match performance in the third Domain Test in Melbourne.

Bumrah, named man of the match after India’s 137-run win, dismissed Pat Cummins (63) to pick up one of the last two wickets required on Sunday and finished with career-best figures of 9-86, the biggest Test haul by an Indian quick in Australia.

Bumrah took a career-best 6-33 in the first innings and added another three in the second as India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy largely off the back of the outstanding exploits of the 25-year-old, who has 20 wickets for the series.

India captain Virat Kohli says the world’s top batsmen will have reason to fear Jasprit Bumrah after the talented young paceman put Australia to the sword in the third Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

I mean, if there is a pitch like Perth, I wouldn’t want to face Jasprit Bumrah, to be honest, because if he gets on a roll he can really crank it up.

“The way he has matured in Test cricket and the areas he has bowled so quickly in his Test career, I think it’s a scary sign for the batsmen around the world in Test cricket,” he said.

“Jasprit obviously is the best bowler in the world,” Kohli said post-match. “He is a match winner, without doubt.

“The mindset he has is what separates him from anyone else in the world right now. He looks at the pitch and he doesn’t think, ‘It’s a hard toil on these wickets’. He thinks, ‘How can I make a breakthrough for the team?’.

“Your mindset separates you from the rest and he is as strong-headed as I have seen anyone in the past, and that’s the key to his success. That’s what I have seen in the past 12 months.”

Jasprit Bumrah finished 2018 as the highest wicket-taker across all formats in the year. The fast bowler, who helped India win the third Test in Melbourne by 137 runs by picking up a nine-wicket haul, took 78 wickets in this year.

Having only made his Test debut against South Africa in Cape Town in January, the 25-year-old from Gujarat finishes a stellar 2018 with 48 wickets from nine Tests at an average of 21.02.

Bumrah took 48 wickets in 9 Tests, 22 wickets in 13 ODIs and 8 wickets in 8 T20I matches. He went past Kagiso Rabada, who has taken 77 wickets in 2018. The South African took 52 wickets in 10 Tests, 23 wickets in 14 ODIs and 2 wickets in 2 T20Is.

Earlier, Indian former batsman VVS Laxman has drawn Bumrah’s exceptional bowling performance with Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram.

“He almost reminds me of Wasim Akram. For me, Wasim Akram was the toughest bowler I have faced because of the amount of variations he had and the control he had over those variations. Bumrah has got those variations just like Wasim had,” Laxman, who has scored 8781 runs in 134 Tests at an average of 45.97, VVS Laxman told ESPNCricinfo on Sunday.

“What I liked was not even once did he lose control, or did he look as if he was ineffective. That shows on how much he was worked hard on his fitness, how skilful he is, and how much control he has got with his bowling,” former India batsman VVS Laxman added.

For me, the hallmark of a bowler is, is he executing the plans he has got for each and every batsmen? Right from ball one, he’s on the money. He knows where he has to land the ball, and he does that efficiently with the variations he has got.

So, one thing that makes sure Bumrah is way ahead of other bowlers in international cricket, especially in Test match cricket, is the amount of variations he’s got.”

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