Virat Kohli had said after India’s third Test against Australia in December that he wouldn’t like to face Jasprit Bumrah on a lively pitch. “If there was a pitch like Perth, I wouldn’t want to face Jasprit Bumrah to be honest because if he gets on a roll, he can really crank it up,” an upbeat Kohli had said after Bumrah inspired yet another victory for India on the tour and this one virtually sealed a historic series win for them.
An unforgiving Test match pitch may never be found in an IPL match but Kohli will be facing the monster that he in some ways helped create whenever his Royal Challengers Bangalore side square up against the Mumbai Indians and Bumrah pointed that out in an advert for the big T20 tournament.
“World ka best bowler? Nehi yaar. Abhi toh world ke best batsman ke dande udana baaki he. Aa raha hu Cheeku bhaiya aur iss baar, aap meri team mein bhi nahin rahenge, (World’s best bowler? Not yet. I still have to dismiss the best batsman in the world. Chiku (Virat Kohli), I am coming, and this time you are not even in my team)” says the 25-year-old in the ad.
Bumrah’s performance in Australia prompted commentators and experts to hail him as the best bowler in the world across formats.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) 24 February 2019
It is interesting to note that Bumrah’s first wicket in the IPL was that of Kohli in 2013. He was clubbed as a limited overs specialist for a long time after that but he was given a chance in the longest format of the game during India’s tour of South Africa in late 2017. Incidentally, his first wicket in Test cricket was that of Kohli’s RCB teammate and South African great AB de Villiers.
RCB will start their campaign on March 23 with the season opener against defending champions Chennai Super Kings. Mumbai Indians, meanwhile play Deccan Capitals the next day to start their season off. The two sides will play each other on March 28 in Bangalore.