Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)
Jasprit Bumrah (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

Mahela Jayawardene, a Sri Lankan batting legend is happy to witness the trend of the fast bowler being handed the responsibility of leading a Test team that generally has been the bastion of batters and all-rounders.

After a long time, India will have a fast bowler leading their Test team. Jasprit Bumrah has been named captain for the team’s rescheduled fifth Test against England that starts from Friday in Birmingham after regular skipper Rohit Sharma was ruled out due to Covid-19.

Jasprit Bumrah will lead India at Edgbaston. (AP Photo)
Jasprit Bumrah will lead India at Edgbaston. (AP Photo)

Mahela Jayawardene Thinks It’s Incredible If Pacer Jasprit Bumrah Gets The Opportunity To Lead India Which Is Rare

This is the first time in 35 years that a fast bowler will lead the Indian Test team after former legendary cricketer Kapil Dev. Jasprit Bumrah played his first international Test match for India against South Africa 4 years back in 2018 at Capetown. Since then, he has been unstoppable and unplayable to the batters in Test cricket with his amazing skills and bowling techniques.

Jasprit Bumrah has got a chance to bowl in 56 innings of these 29 matches he played. Playing more than 70% of his Test career matches away from home, the lad has scalped 123 wickets with an appreciable average of 21.73 and an economy rate of 2.65. He has claimed 8 five-wicket hauls in his career so far.

“I think it’s incredible if he (Bumrah) gets that opportunity. You rarely see fast bowlers being given that opportunity to captain because it’s a lot of hard work, especially whenever you are playing Test cricket,” said the Sri Lankan batting legend Mahela Jayawardene in a video posted by ICC on Friday.

Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)
Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene (Photo| Mumbai Indians website)

“But we’ve seen the trend changing, with Pat Cummins taking over the Australian (Test) captaincy and it’s great to see a bowler doing the job. They (bowlers) understand how the game flows, what needs to be done, and obviously your mind-set is to pick wickets… to be in a very positive mind frame. So, I think it will be brilliant (for Bumrah to be leading the Test side),” opined Jayawardene, who is also IPL franchise Mumbai Indians’ head coach.

Even in the first half of this very Test series against England, Jasprit Bumrah impressed everyone with his amazing bowling performance. Appearing in 4 Test matches against England last year, he has 18 wickets to his name with an average of just 20.83 and an economy rate of 2.48 runs per over.

Meanwhile, Australian skipper Pat Cummins, another pacer captaining a Test side is just two scalps away from reaching the milestone of 200 Test wickets. Australia won the 1st Test against Sri Lanka by 10 wickets.

Mahela Jayawardene: Jasprit Bumrah Always Talk About Red Ball Cricket At Mumbai Indians Camp

Disclosing Jasprit Bumrah’s passion for Test cricket, Mahela Jayawardene, who has been interacting with the India pacer on a regular basis at MI, said that the player is obsessed with red-ball cricket.

“It’s just the passion that he has to wear whites. We’ve had this conversation many years ago when he started playing Test cricket for India, and the more time we spent in the Mumbai (Indians) camp, it seems that Bumrah always wants to talk about red-ball cricket, he just loves it,” said Mahela Jayawardene.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah (Image Credit: Twitter)

“It’s especially amazing that you come across fast bowlers who enjoy being out there playing Test cricket. It’s quite refreshing. He looks forward to each and every Test series. He doesn’t want to miss a single Test match for India, which is an asset to the country as he priorities his Test cricket very much,” added Mahela Jayawardene.

Jasprit Bumrah made his IPL debut in 2013 but he became a regular fixture of Mumbai Indians’ plans only in 2016 after making his India debut. The Gujarat fast bowler has grown to become an integral member of the MI side, picking up 145 wickets in 120 matches.

Jasprit Bumrah, who the franchise retained as the second player for INR 12 crore before IPL 2022, has never worn another shirt than the Mumbai Indians. In his 120-match IPL career, he has picked 145 wickets at 23.31 with an economy rate of 7.4.