Jasprit Bumrah starred with the ball as India thrashed Australia by 137 runs in the third Test at the MCG. The win also helped India take an unassailable lead and retain the Border-Gavaskar series.
The MCG pitch had come under severe scrutiny after the Australian bowlers failed to find much help from it on the first two days. On the first day, they could manage only two wickets while on the following day, they picked up five as India declared on 443 for 7. However, on the same pitch, Jasprit Bumrah blew away the hosts, picking up 6 for 33 as India bowled out Australia for just 151 to take a 298-run lead.
In the second innings, India declared after scoring 106 for 8, thus setting the hosts an improbable total of 399. In reply, Australia were all out for 261. Bumrah impressed once again, picking up three wickets including that of Pat Cummins who was proving to be a tough nut to crack. Bumrah has arguably been the best Indian bowler in the series. He has picked up 20 wickets in three Tests of the series so far.
The 9-wicket haul helped Bumrah become the Indian pacer with most wickets in a Test match in Australia. Bumrah also recorded five-wicket hauls in South Africa, England and Australia – becoming the first Asian pacer to do that in the same calendar year. He also ends the year with a staggering 48 wickets in overseas Tests which is the most overseas Test wickets for an Asian pacer in a calendar year and third most for a bowler in a debut calendar year.
And now former Australia batsman Brad Hodge has called him ‘a nightmare to face’
“Bumrah is a nightmare to face. If you ask any batsman, he is one of the most dangerous bowlers to face. He is quick, very accurate and moves the ball both ways, which is what you want from a Test match bowler.
“His economy and strike-rates in Test cricket are already comparing to those for Kapil Dev, who is legendary in Indian cricket. So to be in that category within 12 months is amazing,” he said.
Hodge then went on to lavish praise on India’s attack.
“The Indian attack has looked strong ever since they have arrived here. They have performed and backed up their captain well. Bumrah and Ishant Sharma, in particular, have looked in shape,” he said.
The trio of Mohammed Shami, Bumrah and Ishant Sharma were sensational with the ball last year, finishing 2018 with a staggering 136 wickets. They also broke the 34-year-old record set by the legendary West Indies trio of Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Malcolm Marshall, who had taken 130 wickets in 1984.