India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah said Test cricket is his favourite format of the sport, adding that red-ball cricket is the only format where bowlers ‘have something’.
Jasprit Bumrah revealed that he has heard opposition batsmen complain when the red ball swung, saying there is very little help for bowlers in ODIs and T20Is. Bumrah said he has always found it amusing when batsmen complained about it.
Having got international recognition during his early days at Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Bumrah was considered a white-ball specialist until he was handed his Test debut in South Africa in 2018.
With his pace and hunger to keep working on his skills, Bumrah has gone on to become one of the most lethal fast bowlers in the longest format of the game. Bumrah has picked up 68 wickets at an impressive average of 20.33 in just 14 Tests.
“In Test match cricket, yes. That is why it’s my favourite format, because we have something over there. But in one-day cricket and T20 cricket one-day cricket there are two new balls, so it hardly reverses at the end,” Jasprit Bumrah told Ian Bishop and Shaun Pollock on ICC’s interview series Inside Out.
“We played in New Zealand, the ground (boundary) was 50 metres. So even if you are not looking to hit a six, it will go for six. In Test matches I have no problem, I’m very happy with the way things are going.
“Whenever you play, I’ve heard the batsmen – not in our team, everywhere – complaining the ball is swinging. But the ball is supposed to swing! The ball is supposed to do something!
“We are not here just to give throwdowns, isn’t it? This is what I tell batsmen all the time.
“In one-day cricket, when did the ball reverse last, I don’t know. Nowadays the new ball doesn’t swing a lot as well.
“So whenever I see batsmen say the ball is swinging or seaming and that is why I got out – the ball is supposed to do that. Because it doesn’t happen so much in the other formats, it’s a new thing for the batsmen when the ball is swinging or seaming.”
Was not much of a hugger anyway: Jasprit Bumrah
Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah also said the International Cricket Council (ICC) needs to come up with an alternative to allow bowlers shine the ball in the absence of saliva.
The ICC Cricket Committee recommended a ban on saliva as part of the steps to resume cricket in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Several fast bowlers have expressed their concerns on saliva ban, saying the move could hamper the balance between bat and the ball further.
Bumrah said he is not concerned about the ban on high-fives and hugs but he is not sure how bowlers will be able to maintain the ball in the absence of an alternative for saliva.
“I was not much of a hugger anyway! And not a high-five person as well, so that doesn’t trouble me a lot,” Bumrah said.
“The only thing that interests me is the saliva bit. I don’t know what guidelines we’ll have to follow when we come back, but I feel there should be an alternative. If the ball is not well maintained, it’s difficult for the bowlers.
“The grounds are getting shorter and shorter, the wickets are becoming flatter and flatter. So we need something, some alternative for the bowlers to maintain the ball so that it can do something – maybe reverse in the end or conventional swing.”