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'The most complete bowler in world cricket' – Kohli effusive in praise for Bumrah

WI v Ind, 2nd Test, reaction

Jasprit Bumrah, who finished the two-Test series in the Caribbean with 13 wickets, including 5/7 in the first Test in Antigua, came in for plenty of praise from his captain Virat Kohli.

Bumrah was the pick of a strong bowling attack, averaging a remarkable 9.23. With Ishant Sharma (11 wickets) and Mohammed Shami (nine wickets) as effective, India brushed aside West Indies with little fuss. While Bumrah picked up a career-best 6/27 in the first innings in Jamaica, he was in some pain in the second, and Kohli praised him for playing through it and supporting the other bowlers. 

"We're really lucky to have him in our team," Kohli told reporters after the win in the second Test on Monday, 2 September. "Very rarely do you find a pack of bowlers who are hunting together and bowling for each other, bowling in partnerships."

"When he [Bumrah] gets some kind of momentum, you can see what he can do in five-six overs with the new ball, which you saw in the first innings. I haven't seen many more lethal spells than that two spells in the last couple of Tests. Standing in slips, you can feel for the batsman who's playing him. He confuses them with angles, with swing, he will set up for the out-swinger and then bowl the in-swinger. It's coming at pace and then he can hit you with bouncers as well.

"I think he's the most complete bowler in world cricket now."

The rise of the bowler, who made his Test debut in January 2018, has been rapid, and he's making strides up the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings for Bowlers. Kohli put it down to not only his considerable skill, but also a hunger to be the best. 

His temperament and technique were top-notch and he countered everything the opposition threw at him.

Kohli on Vihari

"It's the mindset," explained the skipper. "He definitely wants to be the best bowler in the world and he's moulded his life like that. He's moulded his discipline, his work ethic, the way he trains, the way he takes care of his diet. 

"It's really pleasing to see a guy tagged as a T20 specialist – he came and took over the one-day scene and now he's taking over Test cricket. He's proving people wrong that there is a set template for every format."

Video cwc19 27 Jun 19
CWC 19: The Jasprit Bumrah story

Kohli also made it a point to applaud all-rounder Hanuma Vihari, who brought up his maiden Test century and averaged 96.33 in the series. Vihari, he said, was "the find of the series", able to bat under pressure. "His skill sets were outstanding. His temperament and technique were top-notch and he countered everything the opposition threw at him. Very, very pleased with the way he has come about."

Praising his level-headed approach, he added at the post-match presentation, "He's a guy who's very sure of his game and it shows when he plays. He looks confident and the dressing room feels really calm watching him bat. He's always willing to improve ... It's a very young career so far, but he's shown why he's been backed and selected in this team."

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