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India vs Australia: Bumrah's Stellar Rise in Tests Leaves Mitchell Johnson Mighty Impressed

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Former Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson has become the latest to wax lyrical about Jasprit Bumrah's continuous rise in the longest format of the game conceding that batsman all around the world would "think twice before taking him on." "Ishant Sharma has been around for a while. He is hitting the bat hard, which is a good sign, but needs to be more consistent with his line. Mohammed Shami has a smooth action and has the ability to surprise batsman with the occasional short ball. Umesh Yadav seems to have added a yard of pace but does not swing it much these days, but the bowler who impressed me most is Jasprit Bumrah," Johnson was quoted by The Times of India.

While few would have doubted Bumrah's success in the shorter formats of the game owing to his uncanny action and ability to hit the blockhole at will, it has been his record in the five-day circuit that has surprised most. The speedster has picked up 39 wickets in 8 Tests since making his debut against South Africa in January and has often looked the most threatening of all Indian bowlers.

In the ongoing series against Australia as well the 25-year-old has been miles ahead of the pack and has already managed 11 wickets in the first two Tests.

"He has a unique action, but is very consistent with his line and length," said Johnson. "He hardly bowls a loose delivery, which means he is hard to score off and any batsman will think twice before taking him on.

"The pressure he creates at one end often leads to wickets tumbling at the other."

Johnson lauded the Indian pace bowlers on tour and said that all they now need to do was to assess the conditions better and hit the right length quickly.

"There is no doubt that they have bowled well as a unit over the past year or so and regularly picked 20 wickets in overseas conditions," he quipped. "They just need to assess the conditions and the pitch better and hit the right length quickly.

Johnson, 37, who announced his retirement from all levels of cricket in August this year was also effusive in praise of the current crop of Australian pacers, calling them "world class".

"The Australian attack is world class. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are all different types of bowlers and the best thing about them is that they are young, fit and focused," he said.

"Don’t forget that there are four or five others like James Pattinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jackson Bird and Jason Behrendorff who are waiting to break into the national team. There are also quite a few pacers who have built their reputation as limited-overs specialists. They are not in the ‘express’ category but have good variations that come in handy in ODIs."

First Published: December 23, 2018, 7:41 PM IST

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