India in top shape ahead of semi-finals as everyone is performing, says Bumrah - GulfToday

India in top shape ahead of semi-finals as everyone is performing, says Bumrah


India’s Jasprit Bumrah celebrates after the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne. Reuters

Leeds: Jasprit Bumrah says India have a “good headache” with every player in top form going into Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.

Pace bowler Bumrah claimed three wickets in India’s win over Sri Lanka on Saturday at Headingley, with Virat Kohli’s side taking top spot in the final group table.

Australia’s loss to South Africa on Saturday means India face New Zealand in the first semi-final in Manchester, while Aaron Finch’s side take on hosts England in Birmingham on Thursday.

Opening batsman Rohit Sharma scored his record fifth century in a single World Cup on Saturday and lead the tournament’s batting charts with 647 runs.

Kohli has hit five half-centuries to play a key part in his team’s seven victories in nine group games and Bumrah believes the skipper has a wealth of quality options to pick from when he names his line-up for the semi-final.

“Everybody’s had a good run here. It’s been a good campaign for us,” Bumrah said after becoming the second fastest Indian bowler to claim 100 ODI wickets on Saturday.

“Everybody has chipped in with wickets and with the bat. There’s a healthy competition.

“It’s a good headache to have when everyone’s performing and everyone’s in good nick and that’s something you love to have going into a crucial game like next week’s semi-final.”

The 25-year-old Bumrah has taken 17 wickets in eight innings, while his Indian pace partner Mohammed Shami has picked up 14 scalps in four outings. Tell Bumrah that he has led the attack with aplomb and the premier fast bowler says that it is a combined effort.

“I don’t take praise or criticism seriously,” said Bumrah. “The only focus for me is on my preparation, my execution and what I can do for the team.

“You see Hardik Pandya taking wickets, you see Mohammad Shami taking wickets and I’ve also taken wickets, so that’s the positive for us going forward.”

Bumrah’s fine form has impressed former India captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who believes the paceman is now established as the fulcrum of the team’s bowling attack. “He really is the leader of the Indian attack,” Srikkanth wrote in his ICC Media column.

“He is the main weapon, he takes wickets, he can put on the brakes when the opposition are getting on top, he can do everything.”

Meanwhile, Bumrah has paid tribute to veteran Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga who played his last World Cup game on Saturday at Headingley.

Terming Malinga as a “legend”, Bumrah said it was an honour to play with the Sri Lankan pacer during the Indian Premier League (IPL) and against him while performing their respective national duties.

“An honour to play with you and an honour to play against you! LEGEND,” tweeted Bumrah on Saturday.

The Sri Lankan team could not give a fitting World Cup farewell to Malinga as they lost their last group stage fixture by seven wickets against India. Malinga could pick only one wicket and gave away 82 runs in his 10 overs.

The friendship between Malinga and Bumrah dates a long way back to 2013 when Bumrah first met Malinga after Mumbai Indians roped him in.

Since then, the 25-year-old Indian pacer has learnt a lot from the Sri Lankan veteran, be it the art of bowling ferocious yorkers or slower balls.

Malinga stands fourth on the list of bowlers who have taken the maximum number of wickets in World Cups. He has scalped 55 wickets in 28 matches he has played in all the editions of the showpiece event.


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