Despite England taking a 1-0 lead with a victory over India in the first Test at Hyderabad, Bumrah’s precision yorkers and his ability to apply pressure on batsmen disrupted England’s aggressive and result-oriented ‘Bazball’ approach in the second Test in Visakhapatnam, which India won by 106 runs.
Bumrah’s outstanding performance earned him the ‘Player of the Match’ award for claiming nine wickets (6/45 and 3/46), including a remarkable six-wicket haul in the first innings. Subsequently, Bumrah surpassed Ashwin to claim the top spot as the world’s number-one Test bowler.
On his YouTube channel, Ashwin commended Bumrah’s remarkable show, describing his ascent to the number-one ranking as a monumental achievement, and called it “Himalayan feat”.
“The real show stealer was Boomball. Jasprit Bumrah has bowled extraordinarily. He is the leading wicket-taker (in the ongoing series against Englan) with 14 wickets and also the number-one-ranked Test bowler. I am a huge fan of his and this is a Himalayan feat,” said Ashwin.
The spinner also praised young batter Shubman Gill, who broke his streak of 12 Test innings without a fifty-plus score by hitting a century in the second Test.
Ashwin emphasized that Gill’s undeniable talent was showcased by his century, which effectively silenced his critics.
“There is no doubt about the amount of talent that Shubman Gill has. But the hundred justified just the kind of armour he had as a batter,” Ashwin said.
Ashwin reflected on the evenly balanced situation of the match on day four, highlighting the team’s “extraordinary vibe, energy, and performance” that ultimately led them to victory.
As a veteran cricketer, standing just one wicket away from reaching 500 Test wickets, he drew a parallel between the excitement of this series and England’s memorable Ashes series triumph against Australia at home in 2005.
“We came into the fourth day with it all being even-stevens. But our extraordinary vibe, energy and team performance helped us level the series 1-1. England played an exciting Ashes series against Australia in 2005 and I followed that with great interest. I am getting a similar feeling of excitement about this series as well,” said Ashwin.
The third Test is set to start from February 15 in Rajkot, which is the home of veteran middle-order batter Cheteshwar Pujara. Ashwin quipped that the team should wait and watch if Pujara invites them home for dinner.
“A certified Indian legend who recently concluded his 100 Test matches. We’ll be playing in his place (home ground). Ravindra Jadeja, Saurashtra. The Rajkot stadium is his home ground, but he is from Jamnagar,” said Ashwin.
“Let us wait and watch if Cheteshwar Pujara invites everyone to his home for dinner.”
In the ongoing Ranji Trophy season, Pujara has been in prolific form. Out of favour currently in international cricket, he has accumulated an impressive total of 648 runs in six matches this season, boasting an average of 81.00 across nine innings.
Pujara’s performances include two centuries and two half-centuries, with a highest score of 243. Remarkably, he currently stands as the third-highest run-scorer in this Ranji Trophy edition.
(With ANI inputs)