He’s the best cricketer in the world at the moment: Paul Collingwood on Jasprit Bumrah

Speaking exclusively during the Star Sports Press Room, former England captain Paul Collingwood spoke on the impact Jasprit Bumrah has on the Indian cricket team. He said, “I think if you had a piece of paper and had to pick a cricket team, in any form of the game, Jasprit Bumrah would be the first name going on that list right at the top. It’s as simple as that. He’s the best cricketer in the world at this moment. The skill level, the pace, the deception that he has in T20 cricket is incredible. But the one thing I would say is that in the past, England have gone aggressive. If they can take down that spearhead, if they can take down that linchpin, the effect it has on the opposition is huge, and that’s the kind of mentality that England will have to have. They won’t be taking the conservative approach here, they won’t be looking to just see him off, you saw Travis Head get after Bumrah a couple of times, in the Australia match. And the impact it has if the opposition takes down your spearhead, it could dishearten the Indian cricket team. So that’s an approach that England may take, but it’s a risky one because we know how skillful and how many wickets Bumrah can take.”

The former England Captain Paul Collingwood further spoke on the messaging and mentality that Rohit Sharma has inculcated in the team. He said, “Look I think the messaging is pretty clear from Rohit Sharma. Whether it’s the messaging in the changing room, whether it’s the messages in the changing room, or some of the messaging we have seen in his press conferences, where he says it’s not about personal milestones, it’s about strike rates or having an impact on the game, all these things are huge when it comes to players going out and having that belief that the captain and the coach is 100% behind you, and have an impact on the game. And I think it’s seen a massive change in the Indian cricket team. They’ve always been one of the best chasers in T20 cricket, Virat Kohli at the top of the order, once he knows what rhythm, what style he’s got to play, then he’s one of the best chasers. I’ve seen a massive switch in the Indian cricket team, especially when they are setting targets now, they really want to be aggressive from ball one. In England, they have been doing this for six, seven years, since Eoin Morgan took over in 2016. They’ve had this really go out and be aggressive from ball one approach. And it seems that they’ve set a benchmark for other teams to follow that and India are no different. So when you’ve got the skill and the batters that the Indian cricket team have, it can be a very powerful and dangerous unit.”

S. Sreesanth speaks on Jasprit Bumrah and the Indian bowling attack ahead of T20 World Cup 2024 semifinals

Former Indian cricketer S. Sreesanth also shared his thoughts on Jasprit Bumrah and the Indian bowling attack. He said, “All I can say is the way Bumrah bowls, whenever he gets an opportunity to bowl, he’s got that plan and he executes those plans really well. If you look at his deliveries, he bowls in front of his head, which is an awkward action, making it very difficult to pick up. The England players have faced him, but when it comes to critical situations, maybe that is one mantra to learn—that Bumrah is going to be a big difference when it comes to winning or losing. Those four overs, as rightly said at the start of the show, those 24 balls, how the England team deals with them will matter. The best thing with Bumrah is the bowling partnership with Arshdeep. Even Arshdeep is taking wickets. When someone is trying to see off Bumrah, there is a possibility that Arshdeep will take a wicket, not just because he’s bowling okay, but because he’s bowling brilliantly. If you’re trying to see off Arshdeep, there comes Hardik Pandya. He can surprise you with those bouncers. And then we have Kuldeep, Axar, and Jadeja. So it’s a brilliant bowling attack to win the World Cup. And one more thing I want to say, when Bumrah comes in, not a single batsman actually wants to go after him, especially in a knockout game. That’s the presence of Bumrah in the team; even if he doesn’t move, it’s like Sachin Tendulkar when he used to play and stand in the mid-off. That’s the kind of inspiration other bowlers are getting from Bumrah’s presence; it is unbelievable.”

S. Sreesanth shared his thoughts on Rohit Sharma as the captain and the chances of him lifting the trophy. He said, “Rohit Sharma has all the capabilities of a winning captain. He’s got that experience, so I don’t see any reason why he can’t go all the way and win the World Cup. We spoke about Rashid Khan and how, with brotherhood, he has kept the team as a unit. Similarly, Rohit Sharma has also done it many times in franchise cricket. He knows every player individually. Despite the speculations going on throughout the week, in the last press conference, he spoke about Hardik Pandya being a key player in the team. Just like Yuvraj Singh in the 2011 World Cup as an all-rounder with bat, ball, and fielding, I think Hardik Pandya is very much capable of doing that in this World Cup. We wouldn’t be surprised if Rohit Sharma lifts that trophy.”

(With the Inputs of Press Release)

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