Former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori has heaped praise on Jasprit Bumrah, saying the Indian speedster is bowling exceedingly well in the ongoing World Cup and is “basically unplayable at this stage”.
Bumrah is currently leading the wickets tally for India at the showpiece event with 17 wickets from eight matches and is tied on the overall list at third place with New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson who also has taken the same number of wickets.
Only Australia’s Mitchell Starc (26 of nine matches) and Mustafizur Rahman (20 of eight) from Bangladesh are ahead of Bumrah on the list of highest wicket-takers.
Bumrah’s economy of 4.48 is the best amongst the top 20 wicket-takers in the tournament and he also holds the distinction of bowling the most number of maidens (8) - a record he currently shares with England’s Jofra Archer.
Ahead of the first semifinal between India and New Zealand, Vettori said the real threat for the Black Caps in Tuesday’s game would be Bumrah, who just like Trent Boult, has a variety of deliveries in his armory.
England, in their group stage, targeted everyone else besides Bumrah and Vettori feels New Zealand should follow the same tactics against India at the Old Trafford.
“Jasprit Bumrah is basically unplayable at this stage, and against England he was his usual economical self,” wrote Vettori in his column for the ICC.
“But despite that, England targeted everyone else. They were aggressive from the off against the spinners, against Hardik Pandya and they even got to Mohammed Shami at the death as well.”
“I am fairly confident Shami will come back into the side to face New Zealand, he had a very good series down there at the start of the year. But New Zealand have got all the ingredients in place to put on a big total. I know they haven’t done it yet,” he added.
According to the former left arm spinner, attacking India in the opening 10 overs with the ball was also paramount against the Men in Blue even if they are the best side at assessing conditions and adjusting their batting accordingly.
“They will have to be aggressive right from the outset and bowl to take wickets. If you take early wickets and can get at that Indian middle order then you have a chance,” said Vettori.
“The key will be Trent Boult, he knows these Indian batsmen extremely well at this point. They have played each other many times in international cricket and the IPL and he, along with Kane and the coaching staff, will have plans in place.”
“They have to stay aggressive, bowl to get wickets and let Trent work his magic at the start, in the middle and at the death where his reverse swing, yorkers and now a knuckle ball as well, mark him out as one of the world’s premier white ball bowlers,” he added.