India pacer Ishant Sharma finds it “funny” that people are questioning teammate Jasprit Bumrah just after a few matches as the later went wicketless on day two against New Zealand in Wellington.
Sharma, a veteran of 97 Test matches, joined his bowling partner Mohammed Shami in responding to those who have been critical of Bumrah’s barren run that started during the One-day International leg of India’s tour.
“It’s funny that perceptions changed after one innings,” Sharma said at the end of day two.
“For two years, we have always taken 20 wickets. Myself, Boom [Bumrah] and Shami along with Ash [R Ashwin] or Jaddu [Ravindra Jadeja]. How can people question on the basis of one innings?”
Sharma added, “I don’t think anyone doubts Boom’s ability. Since his debut, what he has achieved for India, I don’t think anyone should raise any questions.”
Sharma was easily the pick of the Indian bowlers and finished the day with figures of 3/31. Shami also spoke in the same vein after Bumrah went wicketless in the three ODs.
“I can understand we are discussing on a topic not just after 2-4 games. Just because he hasn’t performed in two games, you can’t just ignore his ability to win matches,” Shami had said last week.
Bumrah also had support from New Zealand pacer Tim Southee, who called him a “world class bowler” and found nothing wrong in his execution.
Southee said: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong. He is a world-class bowler. He is obviously coming back from injury, but he is a quality player, and we know a great performance is never far away when you’re a quality player.”
Southee is happy that New Zealand batsmen have been able to keep Bumrah quiet during this series. “Hopefully, we can keep him quiet for the rest of the tour, but good players never stay down for long. I am sure he is working extremely hard behind the scenes to take wickets. Sometimes you can bowl really well and actually not get the rewards you are after,” he added.
“There might have been a few games during the one-day series and the games so far he’s played where he has actually felt really good, but hasn’t taken a wicket. So as I say, he’s a world-class bowler, and hopefully, we can keep him quiet for the rest of the tour.”