Is India pacer Jasprit Bumrah capable of reaching 400 Test wickets, a feat only 10 bowlers have achieved so far in the history of the format? Yes, if you believe West Indies fast bowling legend Curtly Ambrose who is a ‘big fan’ of the India pacer but adds maintaining fitness level for a long period of time will play a key role.
Bumrah has become one of the finest pacers of the current generation since making his Test debut in 2018. What adds to his appeal is a unique, unorthodox action that few consider may ultimately prove to be a big hindrance.
However, he has placed himself firmly in all the three formats with, displaying an array of skills that has confounded batters from across the world. Still, there’s a long way to go as far as Bumrah’s red-ball career is concerned as he has played just 19 Tests, taking 83 wickets in them including five five-wicket hauls.
“India’s got a few good fast bowlers. I’m a big fan of Jasprit Bumrah. He’s so different than any bowler I have seen. He’s so effective and I’m looking forward to him doing really well," Ambrose said on The Curtly & Karishma Show on YouTube.
And to the question of whether the 27-year-old Indian can climb the mountain of 400 Test wickets, Ambrose replied, “He is as long as he can remain healthy, fit and play long enough. He can seam the ball, swing the ball and bowl great yorkers. He’s got a lot in his arsenal. So as long as he can remain on the park for a long period of time, I’m sure he can get up there."
Ambrose himself took 405 wickets in 98 Tests during a legendary career between 1988 and 2000. And the 57-year-old reckons that despite Bumrah putting more strain on his body due to a short run up but can enjoy a long, fruitful career provided he keeps himself fit.
“You know in terms of fast bowling, it’s generally about rhythm," Ambrose said. “So, you need to build a good rhythm before you can deliver. Bumrah has got a very short run up. He walks most of the way and maybe one to two or three jogs before delivery. So, it simply means he may be putting a little more strain in his body but if he can remain strong enough, I think he’ll be ok."
It’s just about him staying strong to accompany that short run up. If he can do that, he’ll go the distance," he added.