Cricket World Cup 2019

Kohli hails Bumrah factor in India's opening win

LONDON • India captain Virat Kohli praised paceman Jasprit Bumrah for leading an impressive bowling unit in his team's opening World Cup win over South Africa on Wednesday.

Bumrah, the world's top-ranked one-day international bowler, struck early to remove the South African openers in India's six-wicket win in Southampton.

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was the pick of the Indian bowlers, with figures of 4-51 that came after Bumrah's early assault.

Kohli said Bumrah, 25, would be a "massive factor" for his team at the 50-over showpiece event.

"The way he's bowling right now, it's so good to see because you see batsmen literally clueless against him and he's rushing people," said Kohli of his pace ace.

"He understands this is his time and he's making the most of it so hats off, he's brilliant."

Bumrah got Hashim Amla to edge a rising delivery to Rohit Sharma at second slip. He then struck again in his next over, with Quinton de Kock edging to Kohli at third slip, meaning South Africa were two down for 24. The Proteas recovered to make 227 for nine.

"Well, one thing you know with facing Jasprit is you have to play good cricketing shots against him and you have to back your technique against him," added Kohli. "Because if you are hesitant, he senses that and he's all over you."

In Wednesday's other match, New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor admitted his side did not play clinically enough in their nervy two-wicket victory over Bangladesh.

The Black Caps bowled and fielded tightly to dismiss Bangladesh for a moderate 244 at The Oval before stumbling to their target with 17 balls to spare.

"I think we weren't as clinical as we would have liked, but we got the two points which is first and foremost what we wanted," he said.



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2019, with the headline 'Kohli hails Bumrah factor in India's opening win'. Print Edition | Subscribe