Zaheer Khan picks Jasprit Bumrah as the man of the match over Joe Root in the first test

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The first test between England and India came to a disappointing end as the final day was called off due to persistent rain. The match was shaping up to be a thriller as the hosts needed 9 wickets and the Indian team required 157 runs. Interestingly the man of the match award was given to England’s captain Joe Root for his outstanding batting over Jasprit Bumrah, who took 9 wickets and made crucial 28 runs with the bat. 

Zaheer Khan: Bumrah carries the weight of the backend of innings on his shoulders - Mumbai Indians

However, former Indian spearhead Zaheer Khan believes that Bumrah deserved the Man of the Match award for his outstanding display.

Bumrah picked nine wickets in the Test match (four in 1st and five in 2nd innings). Therefore, giving India a great chance to have a shot at victory and take a lead in the five-match series. Not only with the ball, but the cricketer also surprised everyone with his batting skills scoring 28 off 34 balls with three fours and a six. It was his knock that stretched India’s lead in the first innings to 95 runs.

While speaking to Cricbuzz, the former left-arm pacer pointed the same. Jasprit was bossing the game from the start. No batsman was comfortable facing him.

If I had to pick only one player of the match, then definitely I would go with Bumrah. Reason is clear. He set the tone of the Test match from the first over. Yes, Joe Root is a very big player, he played a brilliant knock and kept England in the game. But even then, it wasn’t easy to win/draw for them. For that reason, Bumrah was the match-winner.

“He started well, picked wickets throughout. In this match, India’s lower-order did well. Bumrah performed better with the bat as well compared to his England counterparts. He even didn’t let England tail hang around bowling some sensational swinging yorkers. So I feel Bumrah should’ve been the player of the match,” Zaheer Khan said.

England’s over-dependency on Joe Root

Joe Root can challenge Alastair Cook's England record for Test runs, says Mike Atherton | Cricket News | Sky Sports

However, it could be argued that Joe Root looked the most comfortable batsman across both the teams. He dominated in conditions which were suited for pace bowling. If it wasn’t for his hundred, England would have lost the game on Day 4 itself.

Although Joe Root saved the Test or probably could’ve even won it for England, it is clear that the home team is extremely dependent on their skipper with the bat. Their batsmen are not converting starts for a long time now. Hence, the opposition teams are taking advantage of it as well. The over-reliance on Joe Root may hamper England later in the series.

 

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