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    NEW DELHI: England Test head coach Brendon McCullum expressed optimism that the batsmen will strategise on how to counter the threat posed by star Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah. McCullum also praised Bumrah for his “unique release points” and swing.
    Following India’s levelling of the five-match series at 1-1 with a 106-run victory in the second Test against England, McCullum acknowledged Bumrah’s significant impact. The pacer, alongside batters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill, played a pivotal role in tormenting England, securing a total of nine wickets, including a remarkable six-wicket haul in the match.Talking about tackling Bumrah, McCullum said as per ESPNCricinfo, “Dunno” (Don’t Know). McCullum mentioned that the team does not rely on theories and expressed confidence in the players’ ability to figure things out on their own.
    He emphasised that, much like they have successfully done against other world-class bowlers over the past 18 months, the players can adapt and find effective strategies against challenges like Bumrah.
    “We do not really do theories. It is about making sure the guys are totally clear and present, confident and have conviction in their method. They are a lot better than I ever was and they will work out how best to go about it.”
    “There are contrasting ways of going about it, and I have always said it is important to bounce off whoever you are batting with and the contrasting skills you possess. We will see where we get to. For now, we have to tip our cap to Jasprit and say that spell (in the first innings of the second Test) was as good as anything we have seen so far on this trip.”

    “It is all condition-dependent. When the ball is swinging like that he becomes even more of a threat. He is a fantastic bowler in all forms of the game. He is unique with his release points and with how much swing he can generate in the air. No doubt he is very good, but we have come up against very good bowlers all through the last 18 months or so and found ways to counter them and that is what we have got to do in this one,” concluded the coach.
    One of the players who has been trying to counter Bumrah is England’s star batter Joe Root. Two times out of four, Bumrah has dismissed Root in this series. Bumrah has dismissed England’s premier batter a total of eight times, three more than any other bowler. But Root’s average against Bumrah is 30.60.
    Root’s Test average has dipped below 50 to 49.64 after four patchy innings. During the run chase of 399 in the second Test, Root dropped his anchor-like style in favour of aggression and could muster only 16 runs in 10 balls, taking his run tally in the series to just 52 runs in four innings.
    McCullum however said that Root is a world-class player and there are still three games left for him to score big runs.
    “He is a world-class player and as good as any player England has ever seen. His method (in the final innings of the second Test), whilst people will look to the dismissal, look at the method of his option and he was trying to get the field back so he could milk them.”
    “It is the bravery you have to take at times, and sometimes you get out doing it, but that is just the way the game rolls. There is no doubt from our point of view in that approach. There are three Tests left, still an opportunity to score a whole lot of runs,” he concluded.
    Coming to the match, England was bundled out for 292 while chasing a target of 399 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the series, with only Zak Crawley (73 in 132 balls, eight fours and two sixes) taking Indian bowlers to the attack.
    Jasprit Bumrah (3/46) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3/72) were the pick of the bowlers for India. Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh and Axar Patel managed to get a wicket each.
    Earlier, India gained a 398-run lead in their second innings after being bundled out for 255. Shubman Gill roared into form with a classy 104 in 147 balls with 11 fours and two sixes, scoring a fifty-plus score after 12 innings. Contributions from Axar Patel (45 in 84 balls with six fours), Ravichandran Ashwin and Shreyas Iyer (29 runs each) helped India secure a big lead.
    Tom Hartley (4/77) and Rehan (3/88) were the pick of the bowlers for England.
    Led by Jasprit Bumrah’s heroics, India had earlier bundled out England for just 253 in their first innings, gaining a 143-run lead. Zak Crawley (76 in 78 balls, with 11 fours and two sixes) did launch an impressive counterattack, but Bumrah (6/45) along with spinner Kuldeep Yadav (3/71) blew away the rest of the English line-up.
    India reached a respectable total of 396 runs in their first innings mainly due to the maiden double-hundred of the young Yashasvi Jaiswal (209 in 290 balls, with 19 fours and seven sixes). Knocks from Shubman Gill (34), Rajat Patidar (32), Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel (27 each) provided some help to the left-handed batter.
    (With inputs from ANI)

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