India captain Jasprit Bumrah could be in a dilemma: Ex-England spinner
Former England spinner Ashley Giles reckons that handing Jasprit Bumrah the captaincy of the Indian cricket team could prove to be a double-edged sword for the South Asian side as it could turn away his focus away from his bowling. Acknowledging that Jasprit Bumrah was the main weapon in India’s bowling arsenal, Ashley Giles stated that being the skipper could put him in a dilemma on the subject of when to bring him into attack in the ongoing fifth Test against England at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
“That’s the interesting point.. Giving the captaincy to your most potent bowler and your strike bowler. And we’ve seen in the past that this can cause some confusion just for the bowler and captain himself. When do they bowl themself, how much do they bowl? And that’s why we perhaps don’t see fast bowlers captaining international teams in test matches that much particularly in recent times,” Ashley Giles told ESPNCricinfo.
“But clearly, the way India have used Bumrah as their vice-captain, they rate his leadership skills, they are trying to groom him in that responsibility so I think he’ll be fine as he will also have some great guys around him,” Former England spinner added.
While India are currently ahead in the series with a 2-1 scoreline in their favor, they were off to a bad start in the first innings of the decider. The visitors have already lost five wickets for the score of 150 and are in deep trouble at the moment.
After James Anderson sent back both the openers in Shubhman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara, a lot was riding on the shoulders of former captain Virat Kohli, but even he failed to withstand the swing and seam of the English pacers.
Before being dismissed for 11 by Matthew Potts, Virat Kohli brief stay at the crease looked promising but he ended up playing onto the stumps. India subsequently lost Shreyas Iyer to a perfect James Anderson short ball that he failed to control.
Coming back to Jasprit Bumrah, he became the first Indian fast bowler to lead India in the longest format of the sport since 1986. The legendary Kapil Dev was captain of Team India that year.
“The taste of success feels good when there is pressure. I am always up for responsibilities and I love to be in tough challenges. As a cricketer, you always want to test yourself in deep waters. I have spoken to many cricketers. Everybody improves and keep getting better,” Jasprit Bumrah said on the eve of the game.
“Representing India in Tests was always a dream for me and this opportunity to lead the side is the biggest achievement of my career. I’m very happy that I’ve been given this opportunity. I have had immense faith in myself,” Jasprit Bumrah said.
“In every scenario, I have trusted my instincts that have taken me to this level in cricket and I will keep doing that, going forward. Nothing changes for me, especially my role. That’s what I am going to do as the captain of the side,” Bumrah mentioned.
However, India head coach Rahul Dravid somewhat agreed with Ashley Giles that the sub-continental side needed him more as a bowler and not as captain.
“He is a thoughtful individual; he thinks about the game. He understands the game quite well, he understands his bowling exceptionally well. He is keen and he is always having conversations about the game. Also, I think he commands the respect of the team and I think it is an important thing as the leader. He ticks that box as well. the tactical side of things, the captaincy side of things, the bowling changes,” Dravid said in a chat with Sanjana Ganesan on the Sony Sports Network.
“He is only going to get better. He has not captained a lot so it is going to be challenge but we will support him through that. It is not easy for a fast bowler to captain as well considering the fact that he has to look after his own bowling, he has got to set fields while he is bowling. I have had a couple of conversations in the last couple of days, we probably need him more as a bowler rather than a captain. Captaincy is something, the more you do, the better you get,” he added.
“I mean yeah, there has been a lot of talk about England’s style of batting. I am looking forward to it, the quality in our seam department is something we take a lot of pride in. In the last 4-5 years, we have developed a strong group of fast bowlers who can bowl in all kind of conditions,” Dravid concluded.