Bumrah impresses Test great Steve Waugh
Australia's World Cup winning captain Steve Waugh.

Jasprit Bumrah’s admirers have included the who’s who of cricket, with former Australia captain Steve Waugh being the latest to be in awe of the fast bowlers’ exploits. Bumrah has had a fabulous debut year, taking 48 wickets from nine games, including a match haul of 9/86 in the third Test at Melbourne which allowed India to take a 2-1 series lead.

Speaking highly of Bumrah, Waugh believes the fast bowler has been the difference between the two teams as India stand on the threshold of winning their first Test series win in Australia in 71 long years.

“(Jasprit) Bumrah has been a revelation – he’s been the difference between the two sides,” Waugh told cricket.com.au in Sydney. “He gets some breakthroughs, he’s got good longevity and he can bowl long spells. Their (India’s) bowling attack has been excellent, and obviously Pujara has been the key to the batting. He’s just occupied the crease, and then you’ve got Kohli coming in around that.”

Waugh also appreciated how India have come together as a formidable unit, with all players making significant contributions. Their pace attack had been the biggest revelation of 2018, one that has played a significant role in their wins in Adelaide and Melbourne. On the batting front, Cheteshwar Pujara has been the leading run-scorer with three centuries. Together, India have been able to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

“They (India) look a really strong unit together, they work for each other really well and the captain is a strong leader,” Waugh added. All the other guys fall in line and their bowling attack has been outstanding. India’s tactics have been really good, they’ve thought about how they’re going to go about this series. They are going to wear down our bowlers and bat around (Pujara), and their attack is good – they can take 20 wickets.”

While Australia have boasted a strong bowling attack with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon, but it’s been their batting that has let them down. The highest individual score in the series by an Australia batsman has been Travis Head’s 72 in Adelaide, who is also Australia’s highest run-scorer.

“We need someone like Khawaja to do the same sort of role maybe as Pujara, and Usman I’d like to see get a big score and lead the way and maybe show the younger guys the ropes of how to do it,” Waugh said. “He (Khawaja) probably needs to step up to the plate this match.”