Bumrah on Test captaincy: If given an opportunity, it will be an honour

"I am ready to contribute, in whatever way I can, to the team. If given an opportunity, of course, you would think about it... it will be an honour and there's no bigger feeling than that," said Bumrah.

Jasprit Bumrah: "Kohli will always be a leader in the group".   -  AP

Jasprit Bumrah, who was recently appointed as India's men's cricket team vice-captain ahead of the One-Day International series in South Africa, said on Monday he would be up for the job if handed a designated leadership role in the Test side. The Test side will see a leadership upheaval following Virat Kohli stepping down as captain.

"I am ready to contribute, in whatever way I can, to the team. If given an opportunity, of course, you would think about it... it will be an honour and there's no bigger feeling than that. However, that's something I don't chase.

"I like to do my work and contribute - post and all doesn't really matter. That's always been my process and that's what I look to do," Bumrah told a media conference.

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Bumrah, who made his Test debut under Kohli's captaincy against South Africa in Cape Town in 2018, described how the Delhi batter, despite not being the captain anymore, would continue to groom and motivate the side. "He (Kohli) will always be a leader in the group. His contribution has been immense and will always be the same going forward. He has brought a lot of change to Indian cricket. He is energy-driven and has brought about the fitness culture. Everybody got fitter as a team. He is a very important player and he has captained for so many years. His assistance and knowledge of the game will always be used by us. Even now, when he is there in the squad, he will give his inputs and suggestions. So that is very important for all our players."

The 28-year-old, KL Rahul's deputy during the limited-overs leg of the SA Tour, feels his on-field responsibilities haven't changed much. "The role doesn't change at all, because I have to do my job first, isn't it? I have to contribute as much as I can in whatever field I can. I will try and help KL as much as he wants if he needs any assistance on the field... sharing a bowler's mindset regarding what kinds of fields you can keep. That is something I have always looked to do even if I am not the vice-captain. I try to talk to certain younger guys as well who have come in now regarding the field or assessing the wicket," said Bumrah.

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Ahead of the first ODI on Wednesday in Boland Park, Bumrah said fellow pacer Mohammed Siraj, who picked up an injury during the Johannesburg Test, was fit and raring to go. "He (Siraj) is fine. He is practising with us. There's no discomfort. Hopefully, everything stays that way."

The side will look to move on from the 2-1 Test series defeat and Bumrah said the team was gearing up with a fresh mindset. "You have to move forward. It is a different format of the game. The pace of the game changes and the load on the body reduces as well. So, we have to focus on the thing that we have to do. As a bowler, we have to quickly assess and play around with the variations. Going in with a fresh mindset... Trying to take the team forward."

India already has a plan in place for the 2023 men's World Cup, said Bumrah. "It is important to have a vision regarding where we head to ahead of the 2023 World Cup. So, preparations will start early. We will try and provide equal opportunities to new kids on the block. We have to give equal priority to every series."

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