Former England cricketer turned renowned journalist Michael Atherton has backed senior India pacer and Vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah to start in the 3rd Test set to start from February 15 onwards at the Saurashtra cricket stadium in Rajkot. The series currently stands on level terms at 1-1 and the next match could decide where the series is headed towards.

There were a lot of talks going around the town about Jasprit Bumrah not starting for India in the all-important 3rd Test but Michael Atherton doesn’t understand the logic of him missing out on a Test match, which is being played in a flat batting pitch.

Although yesterday it was revealed that the Indian team management have asked for a slow-turning pitch instead of a raging one you’d want your best bowler of the series until now to start at all costs. Even if Rahul Dravid had affirmed before the start of the series that no pacer will play all the 5 Tests, Bumrah is most likely to see himself in the Indian playing XI.

While speaking to Sky Sports Cricket yesterday, Michael Atherton claimed that Jasprit Bumrah will lead the bowling front for India and that the team management might look to rest him in the 4th Test at Ranchi. Atherton reasoned that conditions in Dharamshala will be much more cooler than any other venue and thus Rohit Sharma’s side should hand him a start.

“You want your cracker jack bowler, who can open up the game when the conditions are flat. But then it’s a quick turnaround to Ranchi and then Dharamsala where you probably want your seamers to play as it’s a bit cooler. I would’ve thought favorite for him is to play here and in Dharamsala. Depending upon how it goes here, they may look to rest him in Ranchi.” – Michael Atherton said via Sky Sports. 

In the 1st Hyderabad Test, Jasprit Bumrah racked up a total of 6 wickets across innings before India failed to chase down 231 and lost by 28 runs. Then in the 2nd Test, Bumrah came in with a much more lethal mindset and left Vishakhapatnam with match figures of 9/91, becoming the fastest Indian to reach 150 Test wickets by innings as India claimed victory by 106 runs.

“There Are A Few Rumors In The Indian Media”, Atherton Slams The Country’s Media For Creating Rumors On Jasprit Bumrah’s Absence

Michael Atherton went on to state that all the rumors surrounding Jasprit Bumrah’s absence from the 3rd Test are mere rumors flamed by the Indian media. He remarked those claims as unfounded before talking about the conditions on offer at Rajkot.

“There are a few rumors in the Indian media. One that he might not be in the squad and will be rested for Rajkot. They prove to be unfounded. There are still a few rumor mills that they are looking to rest him at some point in the series.” – Atherton added. 

“Rajkot has a reputation of being one of the flatter pitches – it only has had a couple of Tests. I think there have been 9 individual 100s scored. India scored 650 against the West Indies. In 2016-17, 3 England batters got hundreds.” – Atherton concluded. 

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