Paarl: India pacer Jasprit Bumrah said if he will be given the captaincy responsibility, it will be an ‘honour’. At the same time, he added that he is willing to contribute to the team irrespective of whether he holds a leadership role or not.
With Virat Kohli not at helm and Rohit Sharma unavailable due to a left hamstring injury, Bumrah will be the vice-captain to KL Rahul for the ODIs against South Africa starting from Wednesday here.
“I am ready to contribute in whatever position and way I can to the team. If given an opportunity, of course you would think about it. I like to do my work, however I can contribute, having a post or not, it doesn’t really matter. Whatever contribution you can give, I try to do that and that’s always been my process and that is what I look to do,” said Bumrah in the virtual press conference on Monday.
“If given an opportunity, it’s an honour and there is no bigger feeling than that. But I try to focus on the things I can contribute even if I am not given a position of leader because that’s the job of a team-mate of how you can help each other in any situation, that’s very important,” added Bumrah.
Talking about his role in the current leadership scenario, Bumrah felt it won’t be any different. “The role doesn’t change at all because I have to do my job first, isn’t it? Trying to contribute as much as I can to the team in whatever fields I can and helping KL as much as he wants, if he needs any assistance on the field. Sharing the bowler’s mindset or what kinds of fields can you keep, that is something I have always looked to do even if I am not the vice-captain.”
“I try to talk to certain younger guys as well who have come in now and have a lot of discussions with them around fields, what kinds of deliveries and assessing the wicket. That’s the same role I have to do again and I am trying to do that as well. There is no specific responsibility or added pressure that I want to take. Helping the team and KL in any way possible and try to keep a calm head and do that.”
Bumrah revealed that Kohli had informed the team in a meeting after the Cape Town Test about his decision of leaving the captaincy. “We have been very close as a team unit. He told us in a meeting that he will be stepping down from the Test captaincy. He informed us of this as a team and we respect his decision and value his leadership a lot. We congratulated him as a team for his contribution to the Test team as a leader and wished him all the best. This was the conversation we had with him.”
Bumrah further said the former skipper will always be a leader in the group. On Saturday, Kohli announced that he will step down from the Test captaincy with immediate effect. The upcoming three-match ODI series against South Africa will be his first white-ball series as a player.
“See, I am not here to give a judgement about his decision. But yes, it’s a personal decision and we respect his decision. He knows how his body is reacting and what frame of mind he is in. We respect that and it’s been an immense pleasure to play under his leadership as I made my Test debut. As I have spoken before, he brings a lot of energy to the side. He will always be a leader in the group and his contribution has been immense and will be immense going further as well.”