One of the biggest reason India playing competitive cricket outside the sub-continent, irrespective of the result of the matches, is the rise of India’s fast bowling arsenal. There was a team when Indian teams were made to bat on bouncy and green pitches. Some teams still serve up the same tracks, but they are scared of the backlash too, because of India’s world class pace battery.
The likes of Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami has progressed well through their Test careers, but it was the introduction of the fiery Jasprit Bumrah that turned the tables in India’s favour.
Considered as a white ball specialist early in his career, Indian captain Virat Kohli’s move to get Bumrah into the Test set-up on the tour of South Africa in 2018 changed the way the world looked at Indian pace bowlers and gave the team destructive weapon against any opposition.
While he delivered the goods away from home on conducive tracks, Bumrah was preserved by the team management as he played his first home Test this year against England.
The 27-year-old fast bowler, who recently tied the knot with cricket presenter Sanjana Ganesan , has picked up 83 wickets in just 19 Test matches and has a chance to break Kapil Dev’s long standing record for India.
The former India captain is the fastest to the 100-wicket mark in Test cricket among Indian pacers, which he completed in 25 Tests. Kapil, considered the gold standard for swing and pace bowling in India, is followed by former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who took 28 Tests to reach the mark. Bumrah’s teammate Mohammed Shami is placed third, having taken 29 Tests to complete a century of Test wickets.
Bumrah will start the tour of England with the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand, followed by 5 Tests against England. Given the conditions in England he can be expected to pick 17 wickets or more on the tour and that would help him either break or equal Kapil Dev’s mark.
A good performance from Bumrah will be essential for the Indian team, who apart from looking to make history by winning the maiden World Test Championship, would also look to win a series in England for the first time since 2007. They have been beaten soundly on their last three tours and Joe Root and his team would want to avenge their 1-3 loss in India earlier this year.