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‘Having an extra bowler would have helped’ – Jasprit Bumrah

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Jasprit Bumrah rued the fact that England revived themselves from 198-7 to finish with 332, but insisted that it wasn’t because of lack of effort from the Indian bowlers.

England had lost their middle-order wickets in rapid succession on the first day, but Jos Buttler stemmed the rot with an excellent 89, through the course of which he also put up a 98-run ninth wicket partnership with Stuart Broad.

It was during that passage of play, on the second morning, that England took back the initiative from the visitors in the fifth and final Test at the Oval. The effort not only swelled England’s total, but tired out the Indian bowlers as well.

Bumrah accepted that having an extra quick – Hardik Pandya was replaced by G Hanuma Vihari for the final Test – would have eased the burden. “When you have an extra bowler, it gives you some cushion while bowling,” he said. “When you bowl with four bowlers, you to bowl more overs as you have to come back (to bowl) quickly.

“We bowled our hearts out yesterday as well as today, because we bowled a lot of overs. Sometimes, having an extra bowler gives you more rest.”

Bumrah accepted that India had failed to capitalise on a position of strength, but gave credit to England’s lower-order batsmen.

“Obviously, we were at a good position when we restricted them to 198-7. The reason behind their comeback in the game was two-sided – their tail batted well, but we failed to capitalise on the situation as a bowling unit as well.

“We tried to bowl in the right areas, but they applied themselves well. We plan for each and every batsman and give equal respect to every batsman. We tried to execute that today, but it didn’t work.”

Without Buttler’s composure, England probably wouldn’t have been able to mount a comeback the way they did. Bumrah said that batting with the tail, Buttler had the licence to express himself.

"He played well today and took his chances"

“He played well today and took his chances”

“He played well today and took his chances. When you bat with the tail, you don’t have much to lose and you can play with a lot of freedom,” said Bumrah.

“Our batsmen have done that as well – we saw it in the first Test match when Virat (Kohli) was batting with the tail, he scored a lot of runs. That’s a position where a batsman has a win-win situation. If it doesn’t pay off, it’s okay. If it does, it’s a bonus for the team.”

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