India and England are set to lock horns in a gruelling five-match Test series, starting with the first game in Hyderabad. Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah may not be a key figure in the series, given that it is being played in India, but will certainly have a role to play.
England's aggressive approach over the last year or so, termed 'Bazball,' is something that has won them plenty of matches, but will it work in India? Bumrah believes that it keeps bowlers like him in the game throughout.
He was on the receiving end in Birmingham in 2022, where England chased down 378, thanks to an unbeaten 269-run stand between Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, thanks to this approach.
"I don't really relate to the term Bazball," Bumrah said in a chat with The Guardian.
"But they are playing successful cricket and the aggressive route of taking the opposition on, showing the world there's another way to play Test cricket.
"As a bowler, what I think is that it keeps me in play. And if they're going for it, playing so fast, they won't tire me out, I could get heaps [of wickets]. I always think about how I can use things to my advantage. Kudos to them, but, as a bowler, you're in the game."
While Bumrah has established himself as one of the best white-ball cricketers in the world, he still rates himself based on the performances in Test cricket. "I am of that generation where Test cricket is king," Bumrah said.
"I will always judge myself on it. Yes, I started with IPL, but I learned to bowl through first-class cricket; that's where I developed my skill, the art of taking wickets. In Test cricket, you have to get the batsman out, and that challenges you as a bowler."
The last time England toured India - in 2021 - Bumrah played just a couple of matches and sent down just 48 overs. However, he is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
"T20s, ODIs, some days you might send down five slower balls and get five guys out when in a Test match they wouldn't have taken one," he explained.
"There is no luck in Test cricket, the better team wins, you cannot take 20 wickets through luck. I was never happy with just white-ball cricket and Test cricket is still the utmost format for me."
Bumrah is in excellent form going into the series, coming off the back of a match-winning 6 for 61 in friendlier conditions in Cape Town as India recently levelled the series against South Africa. Will India's vice-captain prove to be a thorn in England's flesh as well?