T20 World Cup: Zaheer Khan suggests India could've used Jasprit Bumrah more effectively against Pakistan
Team India held Jasprit Bumrah back at the start of the innings which allowed Pakistan openers to get into their groove
After being witness to the zap and zing Shaheen Shah Afridi got with the new ball in his very first over, it was surprising to see India approach the Pakistani openers at the start without their best asset Jasprit Bumrah. Instead of pushing Bumrah in the first over to unsettle openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, captain Virat Kohli gave the ball to Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Bhuvi conceded 10 runs off the opening over including a boundary and a six. Mohammad Shami conceded eight off the second and by the time Jasprit Bumrah was brought into the attack in the third over, the Pakistani openers had already found their rhythm – exactly what India had been afraid of.
The need for quick dismissals of the Pakistani top order was paramount given that India was trying to defend a par score of 150 plus. Talking to Cricbuzz, former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan suggested that the side was guilty of underutilizing their best bowling asset in Jasprit Bumrah.
"You have your plans before the game, but once you are in the game, you've just got to go with it - maybe change certain things that you had planned. Maybe you could have used Bumrah differently. By the time the game finished, you had under-utilized Bumrah."
Zaheer says that he would've given Bumrah the ball in the very first over. But he also reserved the benefit of hindsight with regards to the plans of the team and captain Virat Kohli. Bumrah was also held back at the death and he didn't even get to complete his spell because Pakistan had already wrapped up the game by the 19th over.
"They could have gone for their trump card right up front rather than getting him into the game in the third over. Starting with him might have turned things around a bit.
"But these are things in hindsight. At times, you stick to the strategy which you have made. I am sure the think-tank in the innings break would have thought about it and chosen otherwise. But who would have expected that the two openers would just carry the innings through," added Zaheer.
After losing the toss, India were asked to bat first. Babar Azam mentioned that the dew factor could play a pivotal role in the game in the second innings. When asked about what he'd have preferred, Virat Kohli said that he'd have liked to bowl first as well.
Batting did look more effortless in the second half of the Pakistan innings and the dew factor made it harder for the bowlers to get the right grip on the surface. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan were dispatching the balls that were coming on nicely to the bat for boundaries.
"The dew factor did play a role. Having said that, when you know that dew is going to be a factor, you've got to have that extra cushion of 20-25 runs on the board, just to stay on top of things.
"But today wasn't the case. Right throughout the game, you saw Pakistan in control of the game. They showed the intent, and India was always trying to catch up in this particular game, which was pretty evident," Zaheer Khan concluded.