Jamaica: West Indies captain Jason Holder tipped his cap to Jasprit Bumrah after the India pace bowler bagged a hat-trick on second day of the second Test in Kingston on Saturday.
Bumrah picked up 6-16 as West Indies collapsed to 87 for seven at stumps in their first innings, still 329 runs in arrears of India’s first innings score.
“He bowled some magic balls today and got quite a few of our batsmen with some very good balls,” said Holder, who was dismissed for 18 by Bumrah.
“He got the ball to swing quite late this evening as well. He was difficult. He bowled quite a few inswingers to me. It [the dismissal delivery] angled in and left me at the last moment, so I give him all credit for that one.”
Right-armer Bumrah, who made his Test debut against South Africa early last year, generally bowls at about 140-145km/h and can swing the ball both ways.
He has taken 61 wickets at an average clip of just under 19 runs and has bamboozled West Indies top order during the series, none more so than left-hander Darren Bravo, who has fallen three times to Bumrah - twice lbw and once bowled.
Bumrah’s performance on Saturday came on the back of his figures of 5-7 in the second innings of the first Test in Antigua last weekend, which had retired fast bowling greats Andy Roberts and Curtly Ambrose singing the 25-year-old’s praises.
“He’s the best Indian fast bowler I have seen,” 68-year-old Roberts, who took 202 wickets in 47 Tests, said in an interview.
“If you can swing the ball at his pace, nothing like it. Such bowlers thrill you.
“India had Kapil Dev and some others, but we never thought they could produce someone as lethal as Bumrah,” he added.
Ambrose, who took 405 wickets from 98 matches as part of a fearsome West Indies pace battery of the 1990s, also offered high praise.
“The pace, aggression, the hostility, the craft. The way he outclasses the batsmen, the way he out-thinks them, he could have been one of us,” he said.
Centurion Hanuma Vihari, meanwhile, was all praise for Ishant Sharma after the pair’s heroics helped the visitors post a first innings total of 416. Vihari and Ishant combined to put up 112 runs for the eighth wicket. It was Vihari’s first Test hundred while Ishant reached a maiden Test fifty.
“He looked more like a batsman than me the way he was going,” Vihari told reporters after the day’s play. “We discussed what the bowlers were trying to do and his experience counted a lot there. When you are batting at no 6 the intent has to be positive. At that position you will be batting with a batsman and then a wicket falls and you will be with the wicketkeeper or the lower order.