India batsman Rohit Sharma has called Mohammad Amir a “normal bowler,” saying the hype around the returning Pakistan quick was unjustified. Instead, Rohit hailed emerging India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah as a “rare talent”.
“Stop talking about him already,” Rohit said of Amir in Kolkata. “He isn’t the only bowler, Pakistan have five other bowlers who are doing well for them.
“There is just so much hype around him, I don’t think it is right to give him too much hype after one match. He is good but he needs to prove it over and over again. Now people are comparing him to Wasim Akram and all that. He is just a normal bowler, on that given day if he is good, he is good. It is not as if he turns up and blows everyone away.”
Rohit’s remarks came not long after his team-mate Virat Kohli had called Amir a “world-class” bowler. “I would like to compliment Mohammad Amir for the way he bowled. I actually congratulated him while he was bowling,” Kohli had said after Amir bowled a fiery spell against India in the Asia Cup. “It was so happy to play such an amazing spell. He is a world-class bowler.”
During that spell, Amir had dismissed Rohit, Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina cheaply to finish with figures of 3 for 18 in four overs. He took seven wickets in four matches in the tournament and had an economy rate of 5.06 an over.
Bumrah took six wickets in five games for India in the Asia Cup, and had an economy of 5.22. Rohit said Bumrah was going to go places. “Bumrah is already starting to make a mark. I would tell you that instead of talking about Amir you should talk about Bumrah. A rare talent like Bumrah … he is young and the way he has begun his career – he has a long way ahead no doubt – I think he will do something special for the country.
“He is an exception. He will come up with a surprise,” Rohit said. “Like I was standing in the slip the other night in the finals and I couldn’t make out what he is going to do. Even the captain doesn’t know.
“He has got a good yorker, he has got a good bouncer, a good slower one. He has got all what a modern day bowler needs. His action is like that when Malinga first came, and when I played him at the nets for the first time it was difficult. You don’t play such bowlers everyday – I know only two bowlers in the world – [Lasith] Malinga and Bumrah – who have such unique actions.”
India are scheduled to play their World T20 group game against Pakistan in Dharamsala on March 19, a fixture that has been fraught with security issues.
Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo
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