Jasprit Bumrah’s first toss as India’s captain was an eventful one as the India pacer and former England opener Mark Butcher, who was also the presenter, got into a little fast bowler vs all-rounder debate regarding the legendary Kapil Dev. England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and opted to field first in the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Friday. After a brief chat with Stokes, Butcher congratulated Bumrah for leading India for the first time and said he is the first fast bowler to lead India in Tests. Bumrah was quick to counter the former opener with Kapil Dev’s name to which Butcher said he was an all-rounder. Here’s the conversation took place between the two at toss time.
Butcher: Congratulations! Not often do we have fast bowlers as captains but fast bowlers as captain of India has never happened before
Bumrah: Well, it has happened before, Kapil Dev was the captain.
Bumrah: Alright, all-rounder if you say so.
Butcher was not wrong in his assertion as Kapil Dev was never designated a fast bowler. He, in fact, is still regarded as India’s greatest ever all-rounder. With 434 wickets and 5248 runs, Kapil is in the rare club of cricketers scoring more than 500 Tests runs and 400-plus wickets. The 1983 World Cup-winning captain led India for the last time in a Test in 1986.
Bumrah, on the other hand, cannot be held at fault either. Kapil was the only India who bowled fast to lead India before he got the opportunity to lead India in this Test after regular captain Rohit Sharma was ruled out due to a positive Covid-19 test.
“It’s a good feeling (to be captain) and is a big privilege. Can’t get better than this. Excited and looking forward to this. Very happy with the preparation. Wanted to spend a lot of time and get used to the English conditions, as we came back from T20s. Happy with the preparation, now it’s for the mental side to take over. Four bowlers – myself, Siraj, Shardul and Shami along with Jaddu as the all-rounder,” Bumrah.
The right-arm seamer also confirmed that India will open with Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill. There was no place for Ravichandran Ashwin as India went in with four seamers and Ravindra Jadeja as the only spin bowling option.
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