27 August, Tuesday
West Indies fast bowling great Andy Roberts has hailed Jasprit Bumrah as the best Indian bowler he has ever seen following his match-winning display in the first Test against the hosts at Antigua.
Bumrah claimed 5-7 in a sensational eight-over spell in the second innings at Antigua as India romped its way to a record 318-run win and that performance has seen the pacer come in for significant praise from Roberts.
“In my time, it was all spin (India’s bowling attack),” Roberts told the Indian Express in an interview.
“Good ones, but they wouldn’t win you matches overseas. India had Kapil Dev and some others, but we never thought they could produce someone as lethal as Bumrah.
“He’s the best Indian fast bowler I have seen.”
Roberts claimed a staggering 202 wickets for West Indies in just 47 appearances and formed a part of the famous quartet which also included Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall and Joel Garner.
Bumrah, meanwhile, has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the Test format since making his debut last year and he has now become the first Asian bowler in history to claim five-wickets hauls in England, Australia, South Africa and the West Indies.
Roberts believes it is Bumrah’s maturity and ‘game sense’ with the ball which separates the India pacer apart from others.
“To me, it has been the most striking feature of him. Some call it maturity. I call it game sense. There seems to be clarity in his thinking, and that automatically shows in his bowling,” Roberts said.
“Some bowlers, very skillful ones, don’t develop it even 10 years after they had played the game. That’s the biggest thing for a fast bowler, to learn how to use your head,” he added.
Bumrah has now claimed a total of 55 wickets in 11 Tests at a bowling average of less than 21 and he is the fastest Indian bowler in history to claim a half-century of dismissals in the format. The 25-year-old will next be in action on Friday when the second and final Test between Windies and India begins at Kingston.