Not KL Rahul or Rohit Sharma, here’s who Shoaib Akhtar picked as X-Factor in Indian team after 5-0 triumph

Former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar has picked the X-Factor in the Indian cricket team after their 5-0 series triumph over New Zealand in the T20I series.

Key Highlights

  • Shoaib Akhtar has hailed Jasprit Bumrah as the Indian team’s X-Factor
  • Bumrah returned the figures of 4-1-12-3 in the 5th T20I against New Zealand
  • Akhtar had earlier termed Mohammed Shami as the No. 1 bowler in the world

The Indian cricket team ticked plenty of boxes in the recently concluded 5-match T20I series against New Zealand, winning 5-0. The performance of KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rohit Sharma gave the batting unit a serious boost but when it comes to picking the X-Factor in the current Indian team, former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar took the name of Jasprit Bumrah.

Returning to the national team after a lengthy injury lay-off, it took Bumrah some time to get to his usual rhythm. In the third T20I, he was taken apart by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, both in the 20-over game as well as the Super Over. The seamer bounced back in the fourth and fifth T20I to put in a resolute performance

“Bumrah is a class act. It took him 2-3 matches to come back to full rhythm. Some bowlers take their time when they come out from injuries. He took a couple of series but today he looked a class apart. 3 for 12 was just superb. Bumrah won’t let you score 25-30 runs in the death overs. Saini and Shardul were good too but I think Bumrah is the X-factor of the Indian side,” Akhtar said on his Youtube channel.

The 5th and final T20I saw Bumrah deliver an exceptional spell of 4-1-12-3 and was hence named the player of the match. Bumrah, the World No. 1 ODI bowler, was happy with his own performance as India managed to complete a 5-0 sweep.

“The match got close at one, point but we had belief, that we could squeeze in a couple of tight overs. First time in New Zealand, different ground dimensions, great result,” he said.

Akhtar has been a keen observer of the on-field developments of Indian cricket. Earlier, he had hailed Mohammed Shami as the No. 1 bowler in the world after the latter’s final-over heroics in the 3rd T20I sent India into a Super Over.

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