Jasprit Bumrah will be leading the Indian team in the fifth Test against England at Edgbaston in the absence of regular captain Rohit Sharma. The pace spearhead hasn’t led in any form of cricket in the past and on Friday, he will become the first fast bowler to captain India in Tests since Kapil Dev.

On the eve of the fifth Test, Bumrah admitted that leading India was the biggest opportunity of his career. “This is a huge achievement, a huge honour. Playing Test match for the country was my dream and getting this opportunity is the biggest achievement of my career,” said Bumrah.

With Rohit yet to recover from COVID-19, the team management chose to give the big role to Bumrah. “I haven’t thought so much in terms of where I stand or what people think about me. I back my self belief and rely on my instincts and play normal cricket. I believe in that process,” he said.

While he admitted that playing under former captains MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli taught him quite a bit, Bumrah made it clear that he isn’t trying to emulate anyone.

"The taste of success feels good when there is pressure. I am always up for responsibilities and I love to be in tough challenges. As a cricketer, you always want to test yourself in deep waters. I have spoken to many cricketers. Everybody improves and keep getting better," he said on the eve of the game.

"I remember speaking to MS (Dhoni), and he told me that he never captained any side before he led India for the first time. Now, he is remembered as one of the most successful captains of all time.

"So, I am focusing on how I can help the team and not focusing on what I have done before or how the cricketing conventions or the rules have been set." It is rare for a fast bowler to lead the Indian team and Bumrah said it was a massive honour and responsibility. The pacer has experienced meteoric rise in international cricket, including the five-day version in which he is only four seasons old, having made his Test debut in January 2018.

"Representing India in Tests was always a dream for me and this opportunity to lead the side is the biggest achievement of my career. I'm very happy that I've been given this opportunity. I have had immense faith in myself.

"In every scenario, I have trusted my instincts that have taken me to this level in cricket and I will keep doing that, going forward. Nothing changes for me, especially my role. That's what I am going to do as the captain of the side," Bumrah said.

Bumrah stated that he got to know about leading the team on Thursday morning. "I only came to know that I would be leading the side after Rohit Sharma tested COVID positive once again on Thursday. I first broke the news to my family when I came to know that I would be leading the side." Bumrah said the visitors are up for the challenge.

"We are completely focused on the game and we are fully prepared, given we already played a practice match against Leicestershire, where the wicket was a bit different from this one," said the 28-year-old.

Bumrah already had long conversations with former captain Virat Kohli and Rohit on the job at hand. "Their roles have been very important. Virat's inputs will be crucial when I am bowling or when I am making (some) changes. Virat's suggestions are going to be invaluable and always important for us," said Bumrah.

Talking about the openers, he said, "I had a look at the wicket and had discussions with our coach (Rahul Dravid) and have a fair idea on how this wicket might behave. We have decided on the openers against England as well but won't reveal anything now."

With inputs from PTI