June 6 (India Today) – Virat Kohli is in awe of his wrecker-in-chief, Jasprit Bumrah. It seems as if Kohli empathises with the opposition batsmen when they are facing the India pacer.
“One thing you have to do when you’re facing Jasprit is you have to play good cricketing shots. You have to back your technique. If you’re hesitant even a little bit, he senses it and he’s all over you. If someone is not enjoying short balls at the nets, he senses it and then makes sure that batsmen gets a lot of short balls during that session,” Virat Kohli said after India’s World Cup opener win over South Africa on Wednesday.
Bumrah was breathing fire in Southampton. Even the likes of Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock were struggling to put bat to ball. He kept hitting the length and the new white ball kept zipping away, much to the delight of the Southampton crowd.
Bumrah got Hashim Amla in only his second over with a length ball that just moved enough to take the South Africa opener’s outside edge. The hostility continued and Quinton de Kock perished when trying to get out of jail by hitting Bumrah through the covers. He was instead caught at third slip.
Bumrah came into the World Cup with the reputation of being one of the best in the world. On Wednesday he not only reaffirmed it but also sent a warning notice to the rest of the teams in the World Cup.
“The way he is bowling now is so, so good to see. When you see, batsmen are actually clueless against him. He is rushing the batsmen. I have never seen Hashim (Amla) get out like that. He might play shots and get out but to get people like that is great,” Kohli said.
“It’s a testimony to his hard work. He is working really hard at practice, at the gym and with his diet. He understands that this is his time and he’s making the most of it.”
Doing well in Test cricket always gives you the confidence’
Virat Kohli also believes a year of Test cricket has done wonders to Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling. In fact, Bumrah himself revealed India pacers focussed on Test-match lengths in their World Cup opener against South Africa.
Bumrah had incidentally made his Test debut vs South Africa last year and found instant success in the longest format of the game.
“Doing well in Test cricket always gives you confidence. One year in Test cricket is the difference in Bumrah’s mindset. He believes the length ball can get any batsman out regardless of the pitch. If as a batsman, I know a bowler has that kind of belief, he is going to bowl consistently and get me out,” Kohli added.
Match intensity at the nets: You’re in trouble for those 15 minutes
Meanwhile, Kohli also revealed he loves facing Bumrah at the nets as the India pacer bowls with match intensity, helping the batsmen prepare in the best possible way.
“What you see him bowling in the match, he bowls exactly like that to us at the nets. He will bounce people, he will bowl Yorkers with the new ball. That’s the reason for his consistency. He goes in with match intensity. He will do short and sharp. But those 15 minutes you have to be on top of your game. Otherwise, you’re in trouble,” Kohli added.
“He keeps all the batsmen really, really focussed. It’s a good thing for batsmen as he bowls with match intensity. When you have a good session against him, you walk out with more confidence.”