South African icon Vernon Philander picks the most complete bowler of modern-day cricket


In the dynamic landscape of modern-day cricket, the role of bowlers has undergone a remarkable evolution, with a select few transcending mere skill to attain the status of the ‘most complete bowler’. These bowling maestros, characterized by their multifaceted abilities and unwavering consistency, stand as paragons of excellence in the sport, wielding an undeniable influence on the outcome of matches across formats.

Notably, the likes of Mitchell Starc, Jasprit Bumrah, Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult, all have proven their skills across formats and have been the trendsetter in the bowling arena. But to pick one as the most complete is indeed quite challenging.

Vernon Philander names his pick

Speaking about the same, former South African cricketing star Vernon Philander recently bestowed high praise upon Indian fast bowler Bumrah, dubbing him as the epitome of a complete bowler in contemporary cricket. Philander’s commendation comes in the wake of Bumrah’s exceptional performances in recent matches, culminating in his ascent to the summit of the ICC Rankings for Test bowlers.

In an interview with ‘PTI Bhasha’ during the SA T20 Tournament, Philander lauded Bumrah’s multifaceted bowling prowess, attributing his success to a combination of exceptional skills and enhanced consistency.

“Bumrah is the (most) complete bowler at the moment. He has got magnificent skills and he has also learnt the trade of holding a line and length and that is the reason behind his success at the Test level,” said Philander.

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Stellar rise as premier bowler

Bumrah, renowned for his unorthodox action and ability to deliver under pressure, has solidified his status as one of India’s premier pace weapons across all formats. His historic nine-wicket haul during the second Test against England in Vishakapatnam propelled him to the pinnacle of Test bowling rankings, a feat never before achieved by an Indian bowler.

Philander emphasized Bumrah’s evolution from a wicket-taking specialist to a bowler capable of maintaining line and length effectively, thereby tightening the screws on opposition batters. According to Philander, Bumrah’s repertoire includes the ability to swing the new ball, induce crucial breakthroughs, and deliver lethal yorkers with precision.

The former South African paceman highlighted Bumrah’s proficiency in employing variations and challenging batters with deceptive change-ups, qualities that are invaluable in the high-pressure environment of T20 cricket.

“Initially, he wanted to bowl wicket-taking deliveries all the time and leaked runs but now he has learnt consistency. He swings the new ball, brings the stumps into the play, and challenges the batters upfront. He is phenomenal with those change-ups and lethal yorkers and that is the skill set you want in the T20 World Cup. I feel he is going to play a massive part in the tournament and perhaps also be the best seamer,” Philander added.

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