Former India pacer Zaheer Khan said Jasprit Bumrah should ‘needle the opposition’ if it motivates him to do well. Zaheer was talking about Bumrah’s exploits in the Lord’s Test, where he played a big part in India’s win. Bumrah was involved in a war of words with English players and then produced a brilliant show with bat and ball.
It all started with Bumrah bowling a barrage of bouncers to James Anderson. Englamd tried revenge by taking the short ball route to Bumrah, but the batsman made a valuable contribution with the bat to help India stretch their lead. He then did the job with the ball too.
“If by getting angry, he can carry himself and perform like this, I believe he should at times needle the opposition. See, in the first innings, he had gone wicketless and being the class bowler that he is, I’m sure it must have bothered him," Zaheer said on Cricbuzz.
“After that, the whole Anderson episode that unfolded, the bouncers he bowled to him and then while batting, the manner in which the England pacer went after him… all those things motivated him, and he channelised that anger in the right way. England must be thinking ‘we should have let Bumrah bowl bouncers’ and not mess with him. The intensity with which he bowled, was worth praising."
Zaheer in particular lauded Bumrah for his slower ball to Ollie Robinson.
“Bowling a slower ball is challenging, but to bowl it from round the wicket, from that angle to get a batsman out LBW, you need bowl from close to the wicket, which is never easy. Bumrah did a very tough job. The thought process was excellent. When you’re coming round the wicket, even the batsman is thinking ‘they might use the bouncer more’. To bring out that kind of variation and to have that thinking to get that wicket, Bumrah was fabulous."