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regular-article-logo Thursday, 29 February 2024

'Big fan' Ravichandran Ashwin doffs hat to 'Boomball' hero in second Test against England

Jasprit Bumrah displays brilliance with the ball to play a key role in the team’s series-levelling 106-run win in Visakhapatnam

Our Bureau Chennai Published 12.02.24, 04:54 AM
Ravichandran Ashwin has credited Jasprit Bumrah for India’s win over England in Visakhapatnam.

Ravichandran Ashwin has credited Jasprit Bumrah for India’s win over England in Visakhapatnam. PTI picture

"Boomball", not 'Bazball', is the talk of the town. That's the assessment of Ravichandran Ashwin.

Lavishing praise on teammate Jasprit Bumrah, the senior India off-spinner "Boomball" stole the show in the second Test against 'Bazball' England. He also hailed Bumrah's rise to the top of the Test rankings.

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Bumrah displayed brilliance with the ball to play a key role in the team's series-levelling 106-run win in the second Test in Visakhapatnam.

He put up a reverse swing master-class in England's first innings that yielded him six wickets (6/45), following it up with a three-wicket haul in their second essay for match figures of 9 for 91.

His performance enabled him to jump to No.1 in the Test rankings list, becoming the first Indian pacer to achieve the feat. Bumrah has also held the top spot in the ODI and T20I rankings previously.

"The real show stealer was Boomball. Jasprit Bumrah has bowled extraordinarily," Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.

"He is the leading wicket-taker with 14 wickets and also the No.1 ranked Test bowler. The first India fast bowler to achieve number one across all formats. I am a big fan of his and this is a Himalayan feat."

Ashwin said that the extraordinary vibe and energy on the fourth day of the second Test helped India.

"We came into the fourth day with it all being even-stevens. But our extraordinary vibe, energy and team performance helped us level the series 1-1."

Home truth

The five-match series will now move to Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala and Ashwin noted that most Indian players have not played Test cricket at these venues. The first two Tests were played at Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.

According to Ashwin, the unfamiliarity with venues means that the home advantage factor gets neutralised for India.

"There's never been a marquee Test series like this in five such venues before. In 2017, we played Australia in Dharamsala and Ranchi and then Pune and Bengaluru. Usually, if there is a 4-5 match Test series, at least one or two happen in metro cities.

"Unlike that, this time it's happening in venues that weren't part of World Cup matches," Ashwin said.

"For most of the Indian players, these venues are new. There are a lot of players playing in our team who haven't played a first-class or Test match in the Vizag stadium.

"I'm not sure that is possible in any other country. But possible in India as there are so many Test venues.

"So the home familiarity goes missing in these cases. Of course, they would have played IPL, T20 or ODI, but in red ball, the familiarity surely makes a difference."

With inputs from PTI

Leach out of series

London: England left-arm spinner Jack Leach was on Sunday ruled out of the remaining three Tests against India with a left-knee injury, announced the England and Wales Cricket Board.

However, no replacement will be called up for Leach, an indication that England will continue with the spin trio of Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed and Shoaib Basheer for the rest of the tour. Joe Root is the visitors' fourth spin option.

Leach had sustained the injury during England's first Test victory in Hyderabad and missed the second Test in Visakhapatnam as a result.

"He will fly home from Abu Dhabi in the next 24 hours, where the England team has been staying ahead of the third Test in Rajkot, which starts on Thursday (February 15)," the ECB said in a statement.

The 32-year-old Leach has taken 126 wickets in 36 Tests, besides being a handy lower-order batter.

PTI

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