T20 WC: England will target Bumrah, warns Collingwood

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 26, 2024 IST

Jasprit Bumrah

New Delhi, June 26: Jasprit Bumrah has been the star performer, game changer and the pick of the bowlers for Team India for years. He is replicating his class in the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 as well.

But Paul Collingwood, who captained England to the 2010 Men’s T20 World Cup triumph in the Caribbean, believes the Jos Buttler-led side will be looking to take the aggressive route against India’s fast-bowling spearhead Bumrah during Thursday’s second semi-final clash at Providence Stadium in Guyana.

In India’s unbeaten run in the ongoing tournament, Bumrah has been a pivotal cog in the wheel, picking 11 scalps at an economy rate of 4.08, including two successive Player of the Match awards. His dismissals of Muhammad Rizwan and Travis Head with utmost precision flipped the game’s outcome in India’s favour at New York and St Lucia respectively. 

 “If you had one black piece of paper and say ‘I have to pick a cricket team in any form of the game’, Jasprit Bumrah would be the first name down on that list right at this moment. It's as simple as that. He's the best cricketer in the world at this moment in time. The skill level, the pace, the deception that he has in T20 cricket is incredible.”

 “But the one thing I would say is, and I know the approach of England in the past, they will go aggressive. If they can take down that spearhead and lynchpin, the effect it has on the opposition is huge. That's the kind of mentality that England will look at it. They'll not be taking a conservative approach here, and won’t be just saying, let's see off Bumrah.”

 “We saw Travis Head go after Bumrah a couple of times in the India-Australia match. The impact it has if the opposition take down this spearhead, it could really dishearten the Indian cricket team. So that's an approach that England may take, but it's a risky one because we know how skilful and how many wickets Bumrah can take,” said Collingwood while replying to an IANS query in the Star Sports Press Room show.

Be it be delivering a lethal toe-crushing yorker to bowling a pacy seam-up delivery and foxing batters with his slower off-cutters, Bumrah has been consistently able to execute his variations with pinpoint accuracy. After missing 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup due to a back injury, Bumrah has been offering fans the thrill of him conjuring up an Indian victory with his skills.

S Sreesanth, the former India fast-bowler and a member of the 2007 Men’s T20 World Cup winning team, thinks Bumrah’s spell against England in the semi-final will be a key difference maker on Thursday. “All I can say is the way Bumrah moves, whenever he gets an opportunity to bowl, he's always ready with a plan and he executes those plans really well. If you look at his deliveries, he bowls in front of his head, which is an awkward action, and very difficult to even pick up.”

 “England players have faced him previously, but I will only tell you that man, Bumrah, is going to be a big difference when it comes to winning and losing four overs. So, those four, as Collingwood said previously, those 24 balls, how they are going to deal with them, will be the key.”

Sreesanth also pointed out how other bowlers have also stepped up alongside Bumrah and his alluring presence in the tournament so far. “The best thing with Bumrah is the bowling partnership with Arshdeep (Singh), who will get you wickets from the other end. When someone is trying to seal off Bumrah, there is a possibility that Arshdeep will become a wicket-taker. It’s not just because he's bowling okay, but that he's bowling brilliantly.”

 “If you're trying to steal runs off Arshdeep, then comes Hardik Pandya with his surprise bouncers. Then we have Kuldeep, Axar and Ravindra Jadeja, so it's a brilliant bowling attack to win the World Cup. One more thing I want to say, when Bumrah comes in, not a single batter actually wants to go after him, especially in a knockout game, because if you're once knocked out by him, you're done and gone for home.”

 “So, Bumrah's presence in the team, even if he doesn't move, this is the way I think, it's like when Sachin paaji (Tendulkar) used to play and stand at mid-off. The kind of inspiration you get from other bowlers through Bumrah's presence is unbelievable.”

Bumrah, the silent saint, who loves to let his performance speak about himself would certainly be aware of English plan. Who knows, the bowling genius may find a way to see off attacking English batters, with his exceptional bowling abilities. (With IANS support)

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