Real show stealer was Boomball: Ravichandran Ashwin lauds Jasprit Bumrah's Himalayan feat
Lavishing praise on teammate Jasprit Bumrah, senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said "Boomball" stole the show in the second Test against England and the pacer reaching top of the ICC rankings across three formats is a "Himalayan feat".
Bumrah displayed brilliance with the ball to play a key role in the team's series-levelling 106-run win in the second Test in Visakhapatnam.
He put up a reverse swing master-class in England's first innings that yielded him six wickets (6/45), following it up with a three-wicket haul in their second essay for match figures of 9 for 91.
His performance enabled him to jump to number one in the Test rankings list, becoming the first Indian pacer to achieve the feat. Bumrah has also held the top spot in the ODI and T20 rankings previously.
"The real show stealer was BoomBall. Jasprit Bumrah has bowled extraordinarily," Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
"He is the leading wicket-taker with 14 wickets and also the No.1 ranked Test bowler. The first India fast bowler to achieve number one across all formats. I am a big fan of his and this is a Himalayan feat.
Ashwin said that the extraordinary vibe and energy on the fourth day of the second Test helped India secure a favourable result.
"We came into the fourth day with it all being even-stevens. But our extraordinary vibe, energy and team performance helped us level the series 1-1."
The five-match series will be played across Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala and Ashwin noted that most Indian players have not played Test cricket at these venues.
"There's never been a marquee Test series like this in five such venues before. In 2017, we played Australia in Dharamasala and Ranchi and then Pune and Bengaluru. Usually, if there is a 4-5 match Test series at least one or two happen in metro cities."
"Unlike that, this time it's happening in venues that weren't part of World Cup matches."
"For most of the Indian players, these venues are new. There are a lot of players playing in our team who haven't played a first-class or Test match in Vizag stadium."
"I'm not sure that is possible in any other country. But possible in India as there are so many Test venues."
"So the home familiarity goes missing in these cases. Of course, they would have played IPL, T20 or ODI but in red ball, the familiarity surely makes a difference."