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‘I Told Virat Kohli About Him’ Ravi Shastri Credits Himself For Bumrah’s Test Cricket Success

‘I Told Virat Kohli About Him’ Ravi Shastri Credits Himself For Bumrah’s Test Cricket Success

As Ravi Shastri recently shared his unwillingness to reapply for the position of the head coach of the Indian cricket team, fans can expect him to be more open and candid about the stories of the Indian dressing room. One such story is about how Shastri was willing to bet all his money on the Test cricket success that Jasprit Bumrah was destined to be for Virat Kohli’s squad.

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In an interview with The Guardian, Shastri relived the moment he knew that Bumrah was going to be the key to Team India’s dominance in the longest format of the game, especially during overseas series.

“No one believed Jasprit Bumrah could play Test cricket. He was a white-ball bowler. But when I took over as coach I asked myself: ‘How do I take 20 wickets overseas?’

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“I knew I needed four great fast bowlers because I had played so much Test cricket against the West Indies. It started in South Africa in 2018 and we lost that fantastic series 2-1. I wanted to unleash Bumrah in that first Test in Cape Town. I bounced the idea off Virat months before and told the selectors: ‘Do not unleash him in India. I don’t want the world to see him in Test cricket before Cape Town.’ That was three years ago. Since then he’s taken 101 wickets [in 24 Tests]. It’s remarkable,” Shastri told The Guardian.

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A 19-year old Bumrah first announced his arrival in the big league with his exceptional 2013 IPL debut against Royal Challengers Bangalore, during which he took three wickets while giving away just 32 runs. The stats made him only the second player in league history to scalp three wickets on debut. And even though he played just a couple of games for the Mumbai Indians back then, fans knew almost instantly that there was something different about this calm and quiet lad. 

The match against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday which reopened the 2021 season of the IPL in the United Arab Emirates, was Bumrah’s 100th in the league, all of them being played in the blue and gold MI Paltan jersey. 

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Despite his injuries, Bumrah has developed into a reliable pacer for the Men in Blue across all formats of the game. Ever since making his debut in 2016, Bumrah has played 67 ODIs and 50 T20Is for India, during which he has picked 108 and 59 wickets respectively. In the longest format of the game, the unorthodox bowler has bowled in 24 matches, while booking a remarkable 101 wickets in his name ever since debuting in 2018 in South Africa.