Australia’s two-time World Cup winning captain Ricky Ponting feels that young Mumbai Indians pacer Jasprit Bumrah is ready to play Test cricket as he possesses all the necessary skills to do well in the longest format of the game. (Fixtures | Squads)
“If you look at the skills Bumrah has and the way he has come through over the last two years, then he is ready to play Test cricket. He’s got everything. He’s got an unusual action, got good pace and with the brand new ball can get some good movement in the air,” said Ponting, who is the head coach of defending IPL champions MI.
“If India are looking for someone to come in and play Test cricket then I am sure Bumrah’s name will be in the selectors’ mind,” added the former Australian captain.
Ponting and MI’s support staff of bowling coach Shane Bond and fielding coach Jonty Rhodes, along with players Parthiv Patel and Krunal Pandya, conducted a short coaching clinic for school children in Mumbai in association with the team’s sponsors Videocon d2h.
Ponting felt that the 22-year-old Gujarat bowler, who made his ODI debut earlier this season in Australia, was coming off an injury last year and the tour Down Under has improved him as a bowler.
“Over the last three months, starting with the Australia tour and then the World T20, he has been a stand-out performer and he has been a stand out bowler in IPL as well.
“A lot of times, he has bowled the tougher overs, an over in Power Play and then generally two in death. His skills with the slower ball, yorkers and bouncers are exactly where we wanted him to be.”
He said on Sunday night’s display against Delhi Daredevils, who were thrashed by 80 runs, at Vishakapatnam was MI’s best display so far this season.
MI rattled up 206 for 4, riding on Krunal Pandya’s blistering 37-ball knock of 86 with six sixes and seven fours and then bundled out the Daredevils for 126.
“Yesterday’s game was our best throughout the tournament in what was a very crucial game. We were thrilled to have put out a performance like that when it really mattered most. It goes to show what our team is capable of,” said Ponting.
“It was great to see the way Krunal batted last night and got the team off to a great start. We have given him some difficult spots to bat and every time he has got an opportunity he has taken it. It’s not about how many runs but what sort of impact you make on the game,” Ponting said.
“Last night Krunal was unbelievable. It was an amazing innings. Not being a regular top order batsman, to go out and play like that was a game changing moment. It could be a season changing moment for MI as well. He has a very smart head on his shoulders and has been a great find for MI this season.”
“The unfortunate thing is we have six days before our next game (against Gujarat Lions at Rajkot). We will switch off for two days and then switch on,” he added.
Bowling coach Shane Bond was satisfied with his team’s bowlers.
“From a bowling point of view they have collectively done an outstanding job, in particular McLenaghan and Bumrah,” said the former New Zealand pace bowler.
Fielding coach Jonty Rhodes said his team’s catching has been a bit disappointing.
“We have put down crucial catches which have cost us. It has been the best fielding unit in eight seasons I have been with. They have worked really well as a unit and that’s why it has been a surprising thing that in every game we have put down a catch or two.
“I am very happy with the ground fielding but a bit disappointed with the no. of catches that have gone down,” said the former South Africa cricketer.