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‘I told him I was going to unleash him in South Africa’ – Ravi Shastri reveals conversation with Bumrah before latter’s Test advent

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri recently shed light on Jasprit Bumrah’s journey from a white-ball specialist to a formidable Test bowler. Bumrah, now perched at the top of ICC’s Test bowling rankings, initially made waves with his variations and lethal yorkers in limited-overs cricket. His early years saw him shine in ODIs, T20Is, and the IPL with Mumbai Indians. However, he was always vocal about his desire to hold the red cherry in his hand and flourish.

However, Shastri, along with then-captain Virat Kohli, recognized Bumrah’s potential in Test cricket, envisioning him as a key asset for overseas triumphs. This vision propelled Bumrah into the red-ball arena where his prowess became evident, cementing his status as India’s premier fast bowler. His journey epitomized perseverance and adaptability, marking a significant shift in Indian cricketing dynamics.

“I remember my first call to him, it was in Kolkata. I asked him would he be interested in Test cricket. He said that would be the biggest day of his life. He was labeled as a white-ball cricketer without asking him. But I knew. I wanted to see how hungry he was. I told him to get ready, be prepared. I told him I was going to unleash him in South Africa. He was desperate to play Test cricket with Virat Kohli. They know, at the end of the day, no one remembers white ball averages. They will always remember your numbers in Test cricket,” Shastri was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

Also Read: Jasprit Bumrah has done well to take pitch out of equation: Dale Steyn

Jasprit Bumrah’s exceptional outings in red ball cricket

Making his debut during the 2018 South Africa tour’s first Test in Cape Town, Jasprit Bumrah left an indelible mark with four wickets. His memorable five-wicket haul at The Wanderers underscored India’s historic victory. Since then, he’s been a linchpin in India’s seam-bowling contingent, pivotal in numerous overseas triumphs, notably in Melbourne, Nottingham, and Cape Town. His consistent performances highlight his significance in the Men in Blue’s success abroad, solidifying his stature as a premier fast bowler for India.

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