ICC World Cup 2019: Jasprit Bumrah key for India, says Danny Morrison

Danny Morrison, the former New Zealand fast bowler, believes Jasprit Bumrah will be key to India's hopes of going all the way in the World Cup.

Rising star: Jasprit Bumrah has four four-wicket hauls and one five-wicket haul in his 44-match ODI career so far.   -  PTI

After a successful tour of Australia, where they bagged the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and a maiden bilateral One-Day International series win, Virat Kohli’s men embark on a tour of New Zealand to play five One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals.

The 50-over games will be a prelude to the World Cup in England from May 30 to July 14.

Former New Zealand fast bowler Danny Morrison believes Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for the ODIs in Australia, will be key to India’s bowling strategy and its hopes of going all the way in the U. K. “Bumrah is a classic product of IPL and white-ball cricket development of new breed of India talent,” Morrison, on commentary duty in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League, told Sportstar.

“It is fabulous to see the ‘unusual’/unorthodox bowling actions still cutting it at the highest levels of the game, unearthing unique talents from the subcontinent,” he added.

Sturdy Shastri

Also playing an important role will be India coach Ravi Shastri, feels Morrison. Shastri oversaw a dream 2018 — India won half of all the Test matches it played despite playing predominantly away from home, and ensured its maiden ODI series win in South Africa. What has also raised Shastri’s stocks is that he helped India remain the No. 1 Test team at the end of the year.

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“Clearly, there is a healthy mutual respect between coach and captain and that relationship holds the ‘key’ to a successful team. So from my corner, Ravi Shastri is an important ‘cog’ in the machine,” he noted.

Morrison, once the Kiwi pace spearhead with 160 Test scalps, is optimistic of New Zealand’s chances at this year’s marquee event.

Danny Morrison, now a commentator, predicts a World Cup semifinal entry for New Zealand once again. Photo: Getty Images

 

“I don’t subscribe to Black Caps being “surprise package” anymore! Their run in the 2015 World Cup helped of course, much like 1992 when we made it to the semis... 1996 New Zealand made the quarters, 1999 another semifinal. In 2003 and 07, we were the underachievers but made the semis in 2011... So, I believe the Kiwis lift themselves at World Cups and NZ fans have more of an expectation of doing well. I rate chances of making semis again,” he averred.

Capable Kane

New Zealand has fielded the strongest possible team for the ODI series against India, with skipper Kane Williamson and pacer Trent Boult, who were rested for the lone Twenty20 against Sri Lanka, also named in the squad alongside fit-again Mitchell Santner. “[The] bowling department looks good. However, it is the batting that needs a possible tweak with Colin Munro keen to step up in the 50 over-format as well,” Morrison said.

Read | Jasprit Bumrah sizzles in debut year

Williamson’s form will be paramount to New Zealand’s fortunes. The 28-year-old is riding a wave of confidence after leading the side to a historic fourth consecutive Test series triumph in December 2018. It was capped off by a crushing 423-run win over Sri Lanka — New Zealand’s largest in a Test and the eighth-biggest margin of all-time.

Williamson’s ability to switch between the grind of Test cricket and the freewheeling one-day format has served the side well, and Morrison attributed it to the right-hander’s mental fortitude. “Kane, like Virat Kohli and Steve Smith, is tremendous mentally and is a cool-headed person who takes fabulous options under pressure. He is hungry to perform and is extremely proud to play for his country,” he signed off.