Shane Bond on Jasprit Bumrah: ‘His development over the last year is a big credit to himself the manner of hard work he has put in’ © Associated Press
Mumbai Indians’ bowling coach Shane Bond is happy to have fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah in top form going into the IPL, and thinks he has come a long way in the past season. Speaking on the eve of Mumbai Indians’ tournament opener, against Rising Pune Supergiants, Bond said: “Last year, he played after a serious knee injury, so I didn’t see the best of him. But his development over the last year is a big credit to himself the manner of hard work he has put in. He has been improving as a player, bowled really well for India in the World T20. It’s great to have him with the kind of form he is in. He adds a great amount of strength to our team.”
Bond also said he felt Mumbai Indians have enough fast-bowling bench strength to cover for the injured Lasith Malinga, who is likely to miss a big chunk of the tournament if not all of it. “The owners and [coach] Ricky [Ponting] have done a good job in recruiting a couple of fast bowlers in the side. So we have cover for him. If he arrives fit, he will surely fit into our squad. If he doesn’t, we have good cover for him.” The other specialist overseas fast men in the squad include South Africa’s Marchant de Lange, and New Zealand’s Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan.
Fleming talks up Supergiants’ balance
Stephen Fleming thinks his new team, Rising Pune Supergiants, have all their bases covered. In his column in the Times of India, on the eve of the new franchise’s IPL debut, coach Fleming wrote: “Our line-up is as potentially destructive as that of the best in this competition. And do not forget, we actually have three T20 international captains in our side – ¬Faf du Plessis, Steven Smith and MS Dhoni – which actually gives us an abundance of strategists that other teams just might find hard to match.
“We are aware that at this time of year many Indian pitches tend to be two-paced, and our batsmen are equipped to counter that. Our bowlers are particularly adept on slightly sluggish pitches, but have the ability to adapt to all conditions. All in all, I think we have a fantastic team, strong enough to prove everyone wrong this year. We have the perfect balance of power hitters and smart scorers with excellent strike rates, lightning quick fielders, spin, and pace.”
Shakib breathes easier at Narine return
With Sunil Narine’s bowling action being cleared by the ICC two days before the start of IPL 9, the West Indian mystery spinner’s Kolkata Knight Riders team-mates are relieved. Among them is Shakib Al Hasan, who said during a Knight Riders training session: “It’s a big relief not only to me but to the entire team. He is a vital cog in KKR’s wheel. He has always played a great role in KKR’s success.”
Shakib backed Narine to deliver despite the pressure of being under extra scrutiny – he can still be called by the umpires, and his action will be in sharper focus now given the history. “I don’t think it matters much for a quality spinner like Narine. Everyone knows he’s a world-class bowler and batsmen give him the respect. I still think he will still lead the pack,” Shakib told PTI. “Of course we will contribute in our way. His role is very important.”
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo