Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan, part of the 2012 Indian contingent that faced England in a red-ball series, commended captain Rohit Sharma for a strategic bowling change during the ongoing second Test. Zaheer praised the decision to introduce Jasprit Bumrah, who played a pivotal role in India’s resurgence on day two.
Similar to his impact in the first Test, Bumrah showcased exceptional reverse swing, becoming the fastest Indian pacer to reach 150 Test wickets, surpassing Javagal Srinath and Kapil Dev.
England’s openers, Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley, initially dominated, crossing the 50-run mark swiftly. However, the tide turned when Kuldeep Yadav, making his Test comeback, dismissed Duckett. Axar Patel then halted Crawley’s aggressive innings at 76.
Under mounting pressure, England’s middle order crumbled, reminiscent of the first Test collapse. Bumrah’s first victim of the day was Joe Root, caught by Shubman Gill for just 5 runs. Ollie Pope faced an unplayable yorker but escaped harm, while Johnny Bairstow fell victim to a similar delivery that removed Root. Kuldeep Yadav chipped in by dismissing Ben Foakes and Rehan Ahmed.
Returning for another spell, Jasprit Bumrah continued to wreak havoc, removing English skipper Ben Stokes for 47 and dismissing Tom Hartley. This performance marked Bumrah’s 10th five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
Zaheer Khan lauded Rohit Sharma’s decision to reintroduce Bumrah, calling it a well-calculated move. Recognizing the critical juncture after Crawley’s dismissal, Rohit brought in Bumrah to exploit the vulnerability of new batsmen Root and Pope.
“The move to bring back Jasprit Bumrah was a well-calculated move. Rohit was proactive after Zak Crawley’s wicket fell and he was aware enough to know that Root has just walked in, and Ollie Pope has done the damage in the previous innings, so bring in your best bowler, create the opportunity, and Bumrah reacted beautifully to that opportunity,” commented Zaheer Khan.
He further emphasized the impact of Bumrah’s reverse swing, stating, “The moment Bumrah started that spell, you knew that something was going to happen. The reverse swing was on offer and Bumrah – we know – what he can do once there is any swing on offer.”
Rohit Sharma’s strategic acumen, coupled with Bumrah’s lethal bowling, played a crucial role in shifting the momentum back in India’s favor during the second Test against England.