The importance of being Jasprit Bumrah: How the pacer is making people love Test matches again


Jasprit Bumrah bowls during Day 4 of the 2nd Test match against England, at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam (ANI)

Bumrah becomes the fourth bowler from India to top the ICC Test rankings after Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Bishan Singh Bedi

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India pacer Jasprit Bumrah dethroned his compatriot Ravichandran Ashwin to take the No.1 spot on the latest ICC Men’s Test Bowler rankings and became the first Indian pacer to do so. ICC issued the latest Test rankings on Wednesday which saw Bumrah rise to the summit of the ranking after he registered figures of 9/91 during India’s series levelling victory in the second Test at Vizag.

Bumrah leapfrogged from no. 3 spot and moved to the top of the rankings ahead of the experienced spinner. Ashwin who has been at the top since March last year bagged three wickets in the same match and dropped to third spot.

South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada maintained his second spot despite missing out on the ongoing two-match Test series against New Zealand.

Before reaching the summit, the 30-year-old never managed to make it past the third spot despite claiming five 10-wicket hauls in his career. Two of those five-wicket hauls have come in 2024, the first one came against South Africa in Cape Town in January, where he claimed 6/61 and then went on to take 6/45 in his recent appearance against England.

Bumrah is the fourth bowler from India to top the rankings after Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Bishan Bedi.

Sri Lanka spinner Prabath Jayasuriya moved to sixth following his eight-wicket match haul in the one-off Test against Afghanistan. His compatriot Asitha Fernando improved seven spots to 34th after claiming six wickets in the same match.

Coming to the men’s Test batting rankings, Yashasvi Jaiswal reaped rewards after scoring a magnificent double ton (209) in the second Test against England.

The young opener climbed 37 places and moved to 29th spot. New Zealand’s experienced batter Kane Williamson retained his spot at the top.

Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra lauded compatriot and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah for his recent performances in Test cricket, saying that the pacer is making fans fall in love with Test cricket.

ICC issued the latest Test rankings on Wednesday which saw Bumrah rise to the summit of the ranking after he registered figures of 9/91 across both innings during India’s series-levelling victory in the second Test at Vizag.

Speaking on his Youtube Channel, Chopra said, “With what he (Bumrah) is doing currently, he is making us fall in love with Test cricket. When a batter scores a hundred or a double hundred, he stays at the crease for a long time, so it just captures your imagination a little more because you have seen him bat for seven hours.”

Chopra went on to point out that in Indian conditions, pacers do not capture the imagination of fans as much as spinners as they bowl shorter spells and take lesser wickets than spinners.,

“In Tests in India, we look at spinners, because they pick up six or seven wickets, and 10 or 12 wickets in a Test match and you say – ‘Wow’. Fast bowlers, because they bowl short spells, do not capture your imagination as much, especially in Indian conditions,” Chopra said.

Chopra went on to point out Bumrah’s all-format dominance, reflected by 378 international wickets in 185 appearances in an age where players are not always all-format ones and even selectors do not make all the players play all the formats and look for specialists.

“He is an amazing player. You generally do not look for all-format players in modern-day cricket. The players are coming with that perspective and the selectors also are looking with that perspective.”

“However, a player who could not continuously play all cricket, went through an extremely serious injury and was out for a very long time, the way he is bowling since returning from that – a lot of bowlers come but some bowlers remain in your memory and are exceptional till the time they play,” Chopra concluded. ‘

The 30-year-old pacer became the fastest Indian pacer to pick 150+ wickets in long-format cricket during the second day of the India-England Test match in Visakhapatnam.

Bumrah achieved the remarkable feat after delivering 6781 balls in Test cricket. Meanwhile, Umesh Yadav stands in the second spot with 7661 balls. Mohammed Shami and Kapil Dev hold third and fourth place with 7755 and 8378 balls, respectively.

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