Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison has expressed his admiration for the skills of Indian pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, stating that their abilities have made India a formidable force in all conditions. Harmison, who was part of the iconic Ashes triumph in 2005, highlighted the impressive performances of Bumrah and Shami in the ongoing India-England Test series.
“Both Bumrah and Shami have been brilliant. It shows their class. If you have great skill sets, you will survive, you will ask good questions, and that is what Anderson and Bumrah have got. They are unbelievable bowlers,” Harmison told PTI.
He particularly praised Bumrah’s recent display of reverse swing in the second Test against England, where he recorded his best figures in Indian conditions. Harmison also commended James Anderson for defying age with his incisive spells.
“In Hyderabad, where Bumrah got Root and Duckett, that was one of the most engrossing hours of test cricket you would see in a long time, and in this Test, Anderson and Bumrah have been incredible,” Harmison added.
Harmison, who played only one Test in India and is currently in the country for a commentary assignment, also expressed his admiration for Shami and Mohammed Siraj’s work. He highlighted the rapid growth of fast bowling in India, noting that during his playing days, India did not have a battery of world-class pacers like they do now.
“The skills of Bumrah, Shami, and even Siraj, I love watching them bowl. They have a great bowling attack, fantastic spin attack, and seam bowlers who can be effective anywhere in the world. That is why they are one of the best teams in the world,” Harmison remarked.
Regarding the ongoing five-match series between India and England, Harmison believes that the Ben Stokes-led side has a good chance of succeeding. He compared the series to the 2005 Ashes, stating that in India, if a team bats first and gets a big score in the first innings, it becomes difficult to comeback.
“Ben Stokes has the right outlook to come over here and play positively. They have more chance of winning the series over here than they have had in the previous years,” Harmison opined.
England last won a series in India in 2012, and the hosts are yet to lose at home since then. Harmison had previously criticized England’s decision to train in Abu Dhabi before boarding the flight to India, expressing the view that they needed more time on the ground to prepare, especially for bowlers who had not been to India before. Despite England’s stunning win in the series opener, Harmison’s views on the matter have not changed.
“I made the comments from the preparation point of view. Coming out here, you need some time on the ground, and that was it. But there is one thing about this England team. I know how hard they work; I will never ever question that,” Harmison concluded, referring to their inexperienced spin attack.