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R Ashwin Reacts As Jasprit Bumrah Replaces Him As No. 1 Test Bowler

Indian spin veteran Ravichandran Ashwin hailed speedster Jasprit Bumrah for his performance during the second Test against England, saying that the real “show stealer” in the match was “Boomball”. England had taken a 1-0 lead by beating India by 28 runs in the first Test at Hyderabad, but Bumrah’s ‘Boomball’, his pin-point yorkers and his ability to put batters under pressure put England’s highly-attacking, positive and result-oriented “Bazball” approach in check during the second Test at Visakhapatnam, which India won by 106 runs. Bumrah was given the ‘Player of the Match’ award for taking nine wickets, including a six-wicket haul in the first innings. After the match, Bumrah soon toppled Ashwin to become the world’s number-one Test bowler.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin said that Bumrah bowled extraordinarily and termed his climb towards number one as a “Himalayan feat”.

“The real show stealer was BoomBall. Jasprit Bumrah has bowled extraordinarily. He is the leading wicket-taker with 14 wickets and also the number-one-ranked Test bowler. I am a huge fan of his and this is a Himalayan feat,” said Ashwin.

The spinner also lauded young batter Shubman Gill, who finally managed to get a fifty-plus score after 12 Test innings when he scored a century in the second Test. Ashwin said that Gill’s talent is undeniable and the century justified to his critics the armour he has as a batter.

“There is no doubt about the amount of talent that Shubman Gill has. But the hundred justified just the kind of armour he had as a batter,” Ashwin said.

Ashwin recalled that the match was evenly poised on day four, but the team’s “extraordinary vibe, energy and performance” helped them win. The veteran, just a wicket away from 500 Test wickets, compared the excitement of this series to England’s historic Ashes series at home against Australia in 2005, which they won.

“We came into the fourth day with it all being even-stevens. But our extraordinary vibe, energy and team performance helped us level the series 1-1. England played an exciting Ashes series against Australia in 2005 and I followed that with great interest. I am getting a similar feeling of excitement about this series as well,” said Ashwin.

The third Test is set to start from February 15 onwards from Rajkot, which is the home of veteran middle-order batter Cheteshwar Pujara, said Ashwin. Ashwin quipped that the team should wait and watch if Pujara invites them home for dinner.

“A certified Indian legend who recently concluded his 100 Test matches. We’ll be playing in his place. Ravindra Jadeja, Saurashtra. The Rajkot stadium is his home ground, but he is from Jamnagar. Let us wait and watch if Cheteshwar Pujara invites everyone to his home for dinner,” Ashwin concluded.

Notably, in the ongoing Ranji Trophy, Pujara has been piling up runs. The out-of-favour batter has scored 648 runs in six matches at an average of 81.00 in nine innings. He has scored two centuries and two fifties. His best score is 243. He is the third-highest run-getter in the tournament.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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