India Tour of England 2021: Nehra backs Rohit, Bumrah to succeed in England

Ind vs Eng 2021: The former India seamer said Jasprit Bumrah is India's 'main guy' and its chances would be better if Rohit has a good tour in England.

Former India seamer Ashish Nehra backs Jasprit Bumrah to bring his ‘A’ game in India’s Test series against England.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Former India seamer Ashish Nehra backs Jasprit Bumrah to bring his ‘A’ game in India’s Test series against England, in spite of him taking no wickets in the World Test Championship final.

Speaking at an online media interaction facilitated by Sony Network ahead of the first Test, starting at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, Nehra said it had not been a case of Bumrah bowling badly.

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“We are talking of a guy who has been doing really well for the last five or six years,” he said.  “[It must not have been easy for him] with his injuries and the COVID-19 bubbles.”

He said bowlers like Mohammed Siraj would have to wait for their turn, as Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami ought to start against England.

“You won’t want to be harsh on somebody like Bumrah [which makes him start thinking] that his place is not secure,” he said. “He is your main guy.”

Nehra said it was not just swing bowlers that were required in England. “Somebody like Stuart Broad is completely different from Jimmy Anderson,” he said.

He feels Rohit Sharma could play a key role for India in the Test series.

“This has come very late in his life, but I am hoping Rohit has a good tour of England,” he said. “If he has a good tour, our chances are much better.”

He said the absence of Ben Stokes, who pulled out of the England team citing mental health issues, was indeed a big blow to England.

“But that is not the end of the world for them,” he said.

About mental health in sport, he said things had become worse due to the pandemic.

“Mankind has not seen anything like this for a hundred years,” he said.

“It is not easy for the players to be in the bubble. And every player reacts differently. You should have people around you to help you.”

He said it was not as if every international athlete was facing the same mental health issues.

“The entire England team has not opted out,” he said.

READ | Cricket is secondary, I just want my friend to be okay': England skipper Root on Stokes

“And it is not that Ben Stokes is doing it every two months. These are very difficult circumstances. I feel people should be open about it if they are uncomfortable in a hotel room.”

To give an example, Nehra said he was claustrophobic. “I can’t quarantine, and that is why I didn’t go to England with my family,” he said.

India begins its tour of England from August 4, and will be looking to build on their reputation of winning overseas tests after its historic win in Australia. 

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