The Kiwi batsmen will definitely have their task cut out when Virat Kohli hands Bumrah the Dukes ball in the World Test Championship final (WTC Final) at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from Friday (June 18).
Having played Bumrah in the nets, Tendulkar says the fast bowler has a slightly awkward action and that makes the job of batsmen difficult.
“I was told that when a bowler is bowling well, stand at the non-striker’s end. Jokes apart, Bumrah is a world-class bowler, his action is slightly awkward, I have played him in the nets and his action is awkward. He is quicker than you think. He hits the bat hard so one can say because his action is odd, you get less time to react.
“I would suggest any batter that before you play any big shot, make sure you have gotten your eye in because that is what his strength is, before a batter gets his eye in, he will come in and deliver the knockout punch. So be ready for that, the first crucial moments are extremely critical. If you survive, understand and get used to his bowling action, then things can change gradually,” he told ANI.
While Bumrah has done well so far, playing the WTC final can be another ballgame and that is where he could do with the experience of someone like Ishant Sharma. Tendulkar agrees that the 101-Test veteran knows England conditions better than anyone else in the team, but the maestro doesn’t wish to call on the playing XI.
“Otherwise also, one has to have that mixture of senior players and junior players as that blend works. I am not suggesting anyone’s name here, but I think the balance works in batting or bowling. Then you have seniors to guide you because Ishant has been around for a long time. He understands the conditions in England better than anyone else.
“Ishant would play a critical role, but I would leave it to the management because they understand which bowler is bowling well in the nets they also had an intra-squad game and batters would have given their feedback too to the coach and captain on whether the ball is hitting the bat hard enough to show the bowler is in good rhythm. That is something we need to understand and then pick the final XI,” he explained.
Asked about Kane Williamson, Tendulkar says he rates the Kiwi skipper among the best in the business. “I like watching people closely and when it comes to Williamson, I would literally rate him as one of the top two or three players in the world. Technically, I would rate him as high as anyone in the world. He is absolutely correct, he is a proper Test player and he is someone who reads the game well.
“He is not about blocking all the time, he likes to play his shots. But when he decides to leave the ball, he is committed to whatever he wants to do. I like what I see, Williamson is without any doubt one of the leading players in the world. When it comes to being technically correct, he is as good as anyone,” he signed off.
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