Jasprit Bumrah insists India will not underestimate Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final despite hammering them in both sides’ tournament opener less than two weeks ago.
Pakistan were written off after a 124-run mauling in Birmingham, but lived up to their reputation as unpredictable outsiders by bouncing back to overcome South Africa and Sri Lanka before upsetting hosts England in the last four.
That has given them the chance for revenge against their fierce rivals when they meet for the first time in a global one-day international final at the Oval this Sunday, and Bumrah insists Pakistan will be afforded plenty of respect by India.
When asked if he was surprised at Pakistan’s resurgence since their opening defeat, the unorthodox seamer replied: “Not at all because cricket is a funny game, anything can happen on any day.
“They are always a good side. On their day they can beat any side so you cannot take any team lightly, especially Pakistan, you have to give them equal respect.
“Now we’ve reached the final we’ll plan. There are no easy games over here.”
India booked their place in the showpiece fixture with a convincing nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh in front of 24,340 fans – an ODI record crowd at Edgbaston.
While part-timer Kedar Jadhav took the plaudits with two crucial wickets, Bumrah was no less impressive, miserly at the start in conceding 12 runs from his opening five overs before taking two scalps at the death to finish with two for 39 from his allocation.
Having already taken a return catch from Mosaddek Hossain, Bumrah then cleaned up the dangerous Mahmudullah with a yorker that is starting to become a trademark for the 23-year-old, who only made his international debut last year.
He said: “It always feels good whenever you’re contributing to your team.”
Bumrah is breathtakingly brilliant at the death. His unerring accuracy and control brings back memories of Garner and Ambrose.— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) June 15, 2017
“(Bowling yorkers) is not easy and you have to work really hard. Whenever I have a net session I always try and emphasise that.”
“I’ll have a good death session because that’s the time I bowl in the match. It’s similar to bowling a length ball but the more you practice it, the better you get at it.”
In-between his two five-over spells, Bumrah received treatment on his back during a drinks break, but he was quick to play down any concerns.
He added: “I was told to rest and this is the thing which I’m doing. I’m totally fine, I’m fit, there’s no niggle.”
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