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‘Most complete bowler in world cricket’ – Virat Kohli lauds Jasprit Bumrah

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

India captain Virat Kohli has hailed Jasprit Bumrah as the “most complete bowler in world cricket”, following his performance in the two-Test series against West Indies.

Bumrah took 13 wickets in the series, including a hat-trick in the first innings of the second Test, at a remarkable average of 9.43 and was declared Player of the Series. His performance took his wickets tally in all of 12 Tests to an incredible 62.

Kohli said India were “really lucky to have him on our team” and was delighted with how Bumrah, despite a niggle, “did the job for the team when he was in pain”. That said, the batsman in him couldn’t help but feel sorry for his West Indies counterparts, having to deal with Bumrah’s numerous skills.

Jasprit Bumrah already has 62 wickets in just 12 Tests

Jasprit Bumrah already has 62 wickets in just 12 Tests

“It’s not all about going for wickets all the time, it’s about bowling in partnerships,” said Kohli. “But when he gets some kind of momentum, you can see what he can do in five-six overs with the new ball, which we saw in the first innings [he took a hat-trick].

“I haven’t seen many more lethal spells than that in the last couple of Tests, and as a batsman you feel, standing in [the] slips, you can feel for the batsmen who are playing him, you know. He [Bumrah] confuses you with angles, with swing, he’ll set up for the out-swinger, then bowl the in-swinger, and it’s coming at pace, and then he can hit you with bouncers as well. I think he is the most complete bowler in world cricket right now.”

Kohli was most pleased about Bumrah’s mindset, and how he went about breaking pre-conceived notions. “It is really pleasing to see a guy who was tagged as a T20 specialist, he came in and took over the one-day scene, and now he is taking over Test cricket,” said Kohli.

“He is proving people wrong [when they say] that there is a set template for every format. If you have belief, you can play every format. I totally vouch for that as well. He definitely has the mindset to succeed in all three formats and wants to be the best in the world.”

Kohli said Hanuma Vihari was the "find" of the series

Kohli said Hanuma Vihari was the find of the series

Bumrah played a huge role in helping India win the series 2-0 – they won the two Tests by 318 runs and 257 runs – but Kohli had other aspects to look back on in delight. Chief among them, he said, was the arrival of G Hanuma Vihari.

The middle-order batsman, who made his Test debut against England last year, scored his maiden Test century in Kingston and ended the series as the top run-scorer, with 289 at 96.33. “I think the find of the series has to be Hanuma Vihari,” said Kohli.

“The way he has batted under pressure especially. And on a much more challenging wicket here in Jamaica than in Antigua, I think his skills set were outstanding, his temperament and techniques were top notch and he countered everything the opposition threw at him.”

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