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Still won’t pick Bumrah as the opening bowler: Holding

Indian bowler Jasprit Bumrah (R) celebrates the dismissal of South African batsman Hashim Amla during the second day of the third test match between South Africa and India at Wanderers cricket ground on January 25, 2018 in Johannesburg. / AFP PHOTO / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

London :The former West Indies cricketer Michael Holding, while commentating during the Test series between India and England said that he does not think seamer Jasprit Bumrah is impressive with the new ball. But the cricketer-turned-commentator had to face criticism from Indian fans after Bumrah went on to claim a five-wicket haul in the second innings of the third Test against England to help India to a 203-run victory at Trent Bridge.
But in spite of Bumrah’s feats, the 64-year old stressed he still will not use Bumrah as an opening bowler. Speaking in an interview to Times of India, Holding said, “I would still not have him as my opening bowler. Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami do a bit more with the brand new ball and they will remain my opening bowlers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s absence.”
Holding further elaborated that Bumrah’s action has not helped him to bowl effectively with the new ball, especially on overseas pitches. “What I have seen is he can get the ball to straighten from wide of the crease and is more effective with the slightly older ball,” he said.
“What you have to remember is that in England, with so much assistance from both pitch and atmosphere for the quick bowlers, Bumrah will get the odd ball to straighten on the right-handers’ off-stump, although his action doesn’t enhance his ability to do so. The same delivery in South Africa, Australia, etc would not straighten as it can tend to do in England. He has pace, though, which is a welcome asset that cannot be bought,” he added.
Holding had also criticised Hardik Pandya for not being an all-rounder. But the 24-year-old also took a fifer in the third Test and scored a quick fifty in the match. Holding stressed that his comments on Pandya were misread. “Please go back and listen to or read what I have said about Pandya. I was more critical of the people who were telling me he is the next Kapil Dev, not of Pandya himself. I have gone on to say that he is not the man to fill that sort of role as yet, batting at No. 6 and bowling. What I am glad also to see is that I read somewhere that he had said he doesn’t want to be known as the new Kapil Dev; he is Hardik Pandya, which is the right attitude,” he said.
With the series at 2-1, India and England will play the 4th Test match of the 5-match series from Thursday, next week in Southampton.