New Delhi, Feb 6: Former England captain Michael Atherton has heaped praise on Jasprit Bumrah for his remarkable ability to unsettle even the best in the business with his variations and lethal yorkers.
Atherton's commendation comes in the wake of Bumrah's consistent success against England's star all-rounder Ben Stokes. In the ongoing Test series between India and England, Bumrah has proven to be a thorn in Stokes' side, dismissing him twice in four innings, both times with deliveries that left Stokes struggling to read the pace and bounce.
Speaking on Sky Cricket, Atherton highlighted Stokes' difficulty in picking up the pace of Bumrah's deliveries, attributing his dismissals to the speed and variation in the bowler's arsenal.
“Picking with the speed of the ball is tough with him and I’ve noticed with Stokes, even Stokes actually is an excellent player of fast bowling. He’s hurried with Bumrah. He struggles to pick up the pace, and a couple of times when he’s got him, it looks as though the ball has kept low, which has but it also almost beaten him for pace as well. I think that’s the issue with Bumrah,” Atherton told Sky Cricket.
Atherton underscored Bumrah's knack for delivering yorkers with pinpoint precision, leaving batsmen like Ollie Pope with little room to manoeuvre. “It was spectacular [yorker] wasn’t it? I don’t see what Pope could’ve done with that. It was an unbelievable image as Pope walked back,” he said.
Atherton's analysis extended to Joe Root, who has also found himself at the receiving end of Bumrah's prowess on multiple occasions. Atherton identified Root's pre-movements as a potential weakness against Bumrah's unpredictable deliveries, contrasting Root's rhythmic approach with Zak Crawley's more static stance, which proved effective during the second Test in Visakhapatnam.
“A kind of stuttering run-up and suddenly like a thunderbolt at 90 miles an hour. So, if you’re a person like Root who has kind of pre-movements. Some batters like Zak Crawley for example stand very still, he just stands there and plays the shot."
"Whereas most batters have triggers or pre-movements, and Root is one of those, he has kind of rhythmical back and forward and that I think is the problem.”
As India and England gear up for the third Test in Rajkot, Atherton's insights shed light on the challenges posed by Bumrah's bowling prowess. With Bumrah's ability to exploit the slightest vulnerabilities in the opposition's batting lineup, England faces an uphill battle as they seek to overcome the Indian pace sensation and turn the tide in their favour. (IANS)