Jasprit Bumrah’s return to fitness just in time ahead of the World Cup is certainly good news for India. The speedster now just needs to focus on his rhythm to make a difference in the quadrennial event, feels Lasith Malinga.
Bumrah recently returned to action, in an away series against Ireland, after a long injury layoff and though the matches were in the T20 format, there weren’t any doubts about his fitness.
Malinga, a former Sri Lanka quick and their ex-captain in T20Is, who had been key to Bumrah’s progress during the latter’s early days at Mumbai Indians, emphasised the need for India’s pace spearhead to concentrate on 145kmph-plus yorkers as well in order to be ready for the World Cup.
“Bumrah is really important for the India team’s success. India’s Asia Cup and World Cup campaign got a huge boost with his comeback. With (Mohammed) Shami partnering him, India have a skillful and experienced pace-bowling combination,” Malinga, currently in Melbourne, told The Telegraph.
“Since Bumrah is coming back from a back injury, it’s important for him to work on his rhythm and target bowling consistently, especially his yorkers, above 145kmph come the World Cup,” Malinga, one of the pillars of the Mumbai Indians team during his playing days, pointed out.
The presence of both Bumrah and Shami makes India’s pace group “more balanced and potent”, Malinga believes. “The Indian pace attack carries a lot of experience.
“Shami is one of the top swing bowlers in the world. Additionally, he can execute good yorkers.
“With Bumrah, the attack does become more balanced and potent,” Malinga, who represented Sri Lanka in 30 Tests, 226 ODIs and 84 T20Is, stated.
Despite his encouraging words for India’s fast bowling resources, Malinga did not go overboard. “India’s pace bowling attack is really strong, especially in subcontinental conditions. But I can’t say that they are the best pace bowling attack in this World Cup,” he commented.
“Australia and New Zealand bring a balanced (pace) attack to the World Cup. Pakistan have a dynamic bowling attack, while Bangladesh also have an improved pace attack for Indian conditions.
“Even though hampered by injuries, Sri Lanka too have an exciting pace bowling attack. So I can’t really say that the Indian attack is at the top, but I’m sure they will get the job done and on their day, they’ll surely run through oppositions,” Malinga explained.
Praise for Arshdeep
Back on Thursday, Harbhajan Singh expressed surprise at Arshdeep Singh’s non-selection in India’s World Cup squad. Malinga too is impressed with the young left-arm quick.
“I have to especially mention the left-arm fast bowler, Arshdeep Singh, a skillful youngster who performs really well in the IPL.
“He can bowl with the new ball and get wickets. He’s good at the death too. That’s why the Indian white-ball pace attack is really good,” Malinga said.
AB to SKY: All in mind
Durban: Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers feels that India’s No. 1 T20 batter Suryakumar Yadav needs a slight tweak in his mindset in order to replicate his success in the 50-over format.
“You guys know I’m a big fan (of Surya). He plays in a similar manner to how I used to play, but in ODIs, he hasn’t cracked it yet,” the South African said on his YouTube channel ‘AB de Villiers 360’.
“It is a tiny little mind switch that he’s got to make, and he’s got all the ability and capabilities that he needs to do that. I am very relieved to see SKY in the World Cup squad, I’m very happy about it. I hope he gets this opportunity in this World Cup,” he said.
“Looking at the balance of the Indian squad, he might not start, but a World Cup is a long tournament. So let’s see what happens then,” he added.