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India vs Australia: Bumrah-led Attack Makes India World Cup Favourites - Gillespie

PTI |January 16, 2019, 4:11 PM IST
India vs Australia: Bumrah-led Attack Makes India World Cup Favourites - Gillespie

Adelaide: Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie feels that the current Indian bowling attack led by Jasprit Bumrah makes the team one of the favourites for the upcoming ICC World Cup, alongside hosts England.

"I think the Indian attack is well balanced. Bumrah has been rested for obvious reason but their attack is still quite good," Gillespie told PTI.

"Everyone offers different things, and you add Bumrah to it, so they are well placed to mount a challenge for the World Cup. I think England are the obvious favourites, but India won't be far behind," he insisted.

Gillespie singled out Bumrah for special praise and said the young right-arm pacer's unorthodox action makes him a different bowler from others.

"I enjoy watching Bumrah bowl. He just ambles in but when he gets to the crease, he almost has a slingshot action. He bowls at good pace, hurries the batsmen up, and he can also change his pace a lot. He is a very fine bowler," the 43-year-old former pacer said.

"His action does stand out. It is a braced front leg, delayed bowling arm action. It gets you to the crease quickly, and delivers that sling shot. It is what generates his pace.

"But you need to be strong to be able to do that. Bumrah is robust and fit to bowl long spells in Test cricket. He keeps his pace up throughout a Test and this is what makes him an exciting bowler," Gillespie said.

Gillespie also spoke at length about the veteran MS Dhoni and says his presence has been highly beneficial for India.

The former Australian quick also said that Dhoni is a master at playing according to the need of the situation.

Dhoni has started the year well, scoring two consecutive half-centuries as he rolled back the years with a trademark finish at the Adelaide ODI to level the three-match series 1-1.

"India have benefitted from Dhoni's finishing ability for more than a decade. They are still benefitting from it. They benefitted from his experience when they were down at 4-3 in Sydney as well. He was a bit slow in Sydney but you have to understand why. He played the situation," Gillespie said.

"And it is tough to keep coming down the order and playing as per different situations. In Adelaide, he had a completely different situation, so he played differently (in the second ODI). He has played over 300 ODIs so he knows how to play these different situations," he added.

India chased down 299 riding skipper Virat Kohli's 39th ODI hundred to win the second ODI with four balls to spare.

Gillespie called Kohli's hundred as an "absolute masterclass" and rated him as someone who is a notch above his peers.

"It was an absolute masterclass from Kohli. He is a class player and a different batsman to everyone else. Numbers speak for themselves and you genuinely don't need to add anything to it. Thirty nine hundreds and 10,000 plus runs in ODI cricket in 50 fewer innings than Tendulkar.

"And we all knew how good a player Tendulkar was. It is simply incredible what Kohli is doing. He is the best in world cricket at the moment, simple," Gillespie said.

The Australian team, which is currently going through a rebuilding phase, are eyeing their first ODI series win since January 2017 and Gillespie said this is the best for chance for youngsters to stake a claim for the World Cup-bound team.

"Obviously they are missing a couple key personnel from both batting and bowling perspectives. But the team will look very different in the World Cup. So it is a wonderful opportunity for these players and selectors to look at different options in pressure situations," said the Adelaide Strikers' coach.

"It is a great opportunity for young players to show what they can do and enjoy the moment of representing their country. It gives selectors more information when they get together to pick the World Cup squad," Gillespie added.

India and Australia are tied at 1-1 in the ongoing three-match ODI series with the decider scheduled to be played at Melbourne on Friday.

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