Former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene feels Jasprit Bumrah can be looked at as a long-term option for India captaincy, provided he is able to manage the pressures on and off the field and “prioritise things that you need to do in a year”.
Jayawardene, who has seen Bumrah from close quarters in the Mumbai Indians camp, adds that in the immediate, the pace bowler will receive lots of support from seniors when he is leading the side in the rescheduled fifth Test against England at Edgbaston beginning later on Friday.
Bumrah was named captain of the India side on Thursday for the Edgbaston Test after regular skipper Rohit Sharma tested positive for Covid-19 recently.
“It all depends on his workload… how he manages all that. I think as long as he can control that, control the workload why not (consider him for a long-term captaincy role). It’s crucial for India that he stays healthy. Playing all formats, it’s going to be quite tough for a fast bowler. I think as long as you prioritise things that you need to do in a year and then managing that is going to be the key for Jasprit (if he wants to be considered a long-term option for captaincy),” said Jayawardene, the Mumbai Indians head coach.
“But, you know, why not (give him a long-term captaincy role). He is enjoying it. If he can manage the pressures on and off the field (then why not)… carrying the Indian captaincy is not the easiest things. There will be a lot of people having contributions through and through. That’s something he’ll have to manage as a leader and as a captain. It’s all result oriented,” opined Jayawardene on ICC Review on Friday.
Jayawardene said he is looking forward to seeing Bumrah leading the side at Edgbaston.
“(I’ve) Spoken to him about that leadership role as well, I think he’ll be brilliant. I am looking forward to that. He has got quite a few senior guys around him in the team as well. Guys like Virat (Kohli) will definitely help him out there in the middle and the rest of the boys as well. He just needs to wear his captain’s cap when he is not bowling.
“I think when he is bowling he should be just concentrating on his bowling and he knows what he needs to do in that situation. But other than that, he’ll probably have to field in a couple of hot spots and make sure that he’s making the calls. I’m pretty sure he is quite comfortable in that. He’ll have to be a part and parcel of the whole action. But I’m sure he’ll enjoy it. It’s a great occasion for him,” said Jayawardene.
(Inputs from IANS)