Zaheer: Bumrah needs to be aggressive and take extra risks

Former Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan said that Jasprit Bumrah's reputation has forced batsmen to be cautious and it is time for him to be more aggressive.

Jasprit Bumrah and Zaheer Khan at Mumbai Indians' practice session during IPL 2019.   -  k. murali kumar

India's 2011 World Cup-winning pacer Zaheer Khan feels Jasprit Bumrah needs to be more aggressive and take extra risks to make his presence felt in the upcoming Test series against New Zealand after going wicket-less in the recent ODI series.

Bumrah, who was sidelined for four months last year because of a stress fracture, played all the three ODIs against the Black Caps, but returned wicket-less giving away 167 runs in the 30 overs he bowled.

Zaheer said opposition batsmen have now become more careful while playing Bumrah and the pace spearhead needs to put extra effort to return to form.

“When you build a reputation like how Jasprit Bumrah has built now over the years, you will have to fight this,” Zaheer was quoted as saying by cricbuzz.com.

"...the teams are saying ‘ok even if we get 35 runs, we are happy with that as long as we are not giving him wickets because then we can attack the other bowlers’

“That is something Bumrah has to understand, that he has to be extra aggressive in terms of looking to get those wickets. Bumrah needs to take extra risks,” he added.

Bumrah’s flop-show hampered India as after routing New Zealand 5-0 in the T20s, it was whitewashed 0-3 by the host in the ODI series.

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Zaheer said batsmen have become careful while facing Bumrah.

“He knows the batsmen are going to be defensive so he has to find that way of going for wickets rather than hoping that the batsman will make a mistake. The batsmen are taking a very conservative approach, they are making sure that Bumrah’s wicket taking column is not getting filled,” he said.

“It’s a good sign that other batsmen are giving him that respect, so it’s now Bumrah’s call to make them play. You have to tell yourself ‘my job is not to contain, my job is to take wickets and in the process if I go for runs so be it. I am the lead bowler so I have to dictate terms’,” he added.

The two-match Test series between India and New Zealand will start in Wellington on February 21.

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