The ICC World Cup 2019 is expected to be a run-feast. Flat pitches and small boundaries in recent times in England have made life extremely difficult for bowlers here in limited overs cricket. Hence, bowlers will have to be at their very best to succeed at the World Cup this time as batsmen are expected to reign supreme.
One fast bowler, however, is anticipated to do well and trouble the batsmen despite the batting friendly wickets on offer. Many experts are of the view that Bumrah’s raw pace and different action can be the surprise package for opposition batsmen at the World Cup. Former Australian pace bowler Jeff Thomson considered the world’s fastest bowler ever, is certainly impressed with the lanky Indian fast bowler and feels he has it in him to make a great impression in the tournament.
“Bumrah is good. He is someone, more than he has bowled, the better he has got. That’s how it should work,” Thomson was quoted as saying to the Indian media earlier this week. “He has got raw pace to burn opposition as and when he wants to, but he mixes it up. And he is awkward too to read. I haven’t seen batsmen reading him well. He is unorthodox, and that’s what makes him different,” he added.
Bumrah is currently ranked the No.1 bowler in the ICC ODI rankings for bowlers and rightly so. He has troubled batsmen even on flat surfaces. His unusual action, his control, along with his pace and his myriad variations, make him stand out. And there is no denying that Bumrah is currently the best bowler at the death with his array of sizzling yorkers and slower ones.
India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun too feels the same. “He is the best paceman in the world, across formats. His action, movement, yorkers, changes of pace and awkward bounce make him deadly at any stage,” Arun was quoted as saying to an Indian media outlet.
Bumrah will be featuring in his first 50-over World Cup, and it will be exciting to see how deals with the pressure of this big stage. He has shown in the past that he revels in the big stage and brings out his best in pressure cooker situations. The Indian Premier League is an excellent example of that. He was sensational in this year’s IPL, taking 19 wickets at a stunning economy rate of 6.63.
In fact, in a short period, Bumrah has become the go-to bowler for his captain. In the ICC World Cup 2019, Indian captain Virat Kohli would undoubtedly rely on Bumrah to give him the early breakthroughs and contain the batsmen in the death overs.
The World Cup will see some other quality young fast bowlers as well like South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi and Australia’s Pat Cummins. If Bumrah can hold his own and leave his imprint in the tournament, then he would have taken a firm step towards establishing himself as the best fast bowler of the current generation.