Kohli: I wouldn’t want to face Jasprit Bumrah


India captain Virat Kohli says the mindset of Jasprit Bumrah is what separates him from anyone else in world cricket after the fast bowler played a starring role in the Test victory over Australia at the MCG.

Bumrah took career-best figures of 6-33 in the first innings followed by another three in the second as India completed a 137-run victory in the third Test at the famous venue to go 2-1 up in the series with one match left to play.

The 25-year-old is also the first India bowler to take five-wicket hauls in South Africa, England and Australia since making his debut against the Proteas at Newlands in January.

Kohli said of his paceman: “The mindset he has is what separates him from anyone else in the world right now.

“He looks at the pitch, and he doesn’t think, ‘Oh it’s a hard toil on this wicket.’ He thinks how can I take make a breakthrough for the team and your mindset separates you from the rest.

“He is as strong-headed as I have seen anyone in the past, and that’s the key to his success, that’s what I have seen in the past 12 months.

“The way he has matured in Test cricket, and the areas he has bowled so quickly in his Test career, I think it’s a scary sign for the batsmen around the world in Test cricket.

“I mean if there is a pitch like Perth, I wouldn’t want to face Jasprit Bumrah to be honest because if he gets on a roll he can really crank it up and the way he bowls is so much more different to anyone and I think he realises that more than the batsmen, and that’s why he is so confident about his skills.”

Bumrah was a surprise selection in the Test squad for the tour to South Africa at the start of the year as he had not played any first-class cricket in 2017 and was a white-ball specialist for India.

Kohli said Bumrah had shown in training sessions with the national team that he had the stamina and energy levels to cope with the longest format.

The India skipper went on: “I think the fact that he was showing amazing levels of energy and fitness in white-ball cricket and hence he was so good because he was not giving runs with the new ball, he was getting wickets, he would come back in the death overs and not bowl one loose delivery.

“He was training like he wanted to play Test cricket, he was that obsessed about his fitness levels and his work ethics.

“So we discussed before South Africa that if we put him as a surprise package, he could be lethal if he gets his lines and lengths right.”