GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
India’s men cricketers are playing unbelievably well to send fans into raptures. At the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Virat Kohli and his men played exceptional cricket to tame the Australians in their own den to go up by 2-1, and are all set to create history in Sydney. The player, who mesmerised the Australian batsmen into submission was the man-of-the match at the MCG, the shy, but determined Jasprit Bumrah. It is very rare for Australian commentators to heap encomium on an Indian bowler, that too a pacer. One Australian commentator was indeed heard saying “Bumrah, you are a genius” after the 25-year-old scalped Shaun Marsh off a brilliant slow Yorker rendering the latter totally clueless. Another expert termed Bumrah as the “best fast bowler in the world” – a flattering praise for any bowler. The look on the Indian captain’s face after the Bumrah brilliance said it all. Starting his test career only in January 2018 against the South Africans, Bumrah, who was thought to be tailor-made for the one-day format, has now proved beyond doubt that he is game for any format of the game. The speed which Bumrah generates has surprised many former bowling greats including Dennis Lillee, one of the greats of yesteryears, who has compared him to another legend Jeff Thomson – not an ordinary comparison by any means. Bumrah’s match-winning 9/86, especially the deadly 6/33 in the second innings, meant the Australian batsmen are yet to come to terms with the bowler’s style of ball release. The Bumrah-Ishant Sharma-Mohammed Shami trio is hailed as the best Indian pace bowling attack ever and not many would doubt that. The MCG win was only India’s seventh win on Australian soil. The team is ready to create history – a draw at Sydney is enough for Kohli and his men to become the first Indian side to win a series in Australia.