India Vs South Africa Series: Jasprit Bumrah not KG about Rabada
As two of the world's deadliest pacers brace for battle, Jasprit Bumrah extinguishes talk of rivalry
Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada are set to make it a cracker of a Diwali this year. The India vs South Africa series, which begins on October 2, will see two of the best pacers in business up against each other. Life will also come a full circle for both. While the SA pacer made his Test debut in the 2015 Test series in India, Bumrah first wore the Test jersey in Johannesburg last year. Kagiso Rabada didn't have much success in his debut series, claiming two wickets in three Tests on spin-friendly tracks. Jasprit Bumrah, meanwhile, had a dream debut series by claiming 14 wickets in three Tests.
Rabada revealed recently that the likes of Bumrah and Jofra Archer doing well will force him to lift his game. But the lanky Indian pace ace tried to downplay the contest with the Proteas's tearaway pacer.
"I don't look at all these things. I don't focus on individuals. For me, team's success is important. I look forward to what I can do and what contribution I can make in the team's success," said Bumrah on the sidelines of a Royal Stag event yesterday.
The contest between Bumrah and Rabada was in full display during the World Cup in England. Both pacers troubled batsmen during their probing opening spells under overcast conditions at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
Bumrah gave away 13 runs and picked two wickets in his first five overs while Rabada claimed 1-21 in his opening spell. Bumrah, who has a Test fifer in South Africa, England, Australia and West Indies, will play his maiden Test series in India v SA.
"I have played all my cricket in India before playing for the country, so these are not alien conditions for me. But playing Test matches will be a different experience. I am looking forward to it. The preparations have already started. As soon as I join [the team], I will discuss with the team management and senior players, who have played a lot of cricket over here as to what works, what doesn't work; will take everything into consideration," said Bumrah.
The Indian team management has realised that Bumrah will be the key to winning the ICC Test Championship by managing his workload efficiently. He has been rested for the T20Is against SA. Bumrah said the breaks help him keep fresh and hungrier. "A lot of thought process goes behind this [decision]. It's not that I will just rest from white-ball cricket. A lot of preparation goes on because if you go on playing all three formats, you need to be fresh as well. So, when you come back after a break, you are hungry, you want to do well again and all of that plays a massive role for you to be fit and fresh," he said.
During the event, Bumrah remarked that there are many bowlers in India who are ready to take his place. However, with his phenomenal form and rapid rise to become one of the fearsome pace bowlers in the world, no one is anywhere close to displacing Bumrah.
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