In an exclusive interview with ‘The Times’, recalling their initial conversation, Shastri reminisced, “I remember my first call to him, it was in Kolkata.I asked him would he be interested in Test cricket. He said that would be the biggest day of his life.”
“He was labelled as a white-ball cricketer without asking him. But I knew. I wanted to see how hungry he was. I told him to get ready, be prepared. I told him I was going to unleash him in South Africa,” Shastri said.
Despite Bumrah’s remarkable success in white-ball cricket, Shastri emphasized the significance of Test cricket, noting, “They will always remember your numbers in Test cricket.”
Reflecting on Bumrah’s recent exploits, Shastri hailed his exceptional performance in the Vizag Test, stating, “He’s so excited to be playing and doing well in Test cricket.”
Bumrah’s achievement as the fastest Indian bowler to reach 150 Test wickets further underscored his commitment to excel in the traditional format.
Shastri’s admiration for Bumrah’s journey from being labelled a white-ball specialist to becoming the top-ranked Test bowler underscores the importance of embracing challenges in cricket’s pinnacle format.
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(With inputs from PTI)