Free Press Journal

The impressive evolution of Jasprit Bumrah, India’s new death-overs specialist


New Zealand’s tour of India ended with hosts prevailing in a very tight series in both one day international (ODI) and T20I series by 2-1 margin. Black Caps showed their grit and determination, but could not cross that finishing mark and India, as some would say, got lucky and won the big moments during the series. Indian team has over the years excelled in limited overs cricket due to its powerful batting and, invariably, it was the batsmen who had led the way and bowlers were just part of the supporting act.

Indian team, in the recent past, has placed extra emphasis on its bowling after the disappointment of losing the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan and the team management headed by captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri have played bowlers who are wicket takers and can impact matches. In just over year and a half since making his debut, a bowler by the name of Jasprit Bumrah has completely taken centre stage and in the just concluded series against Australia and New Zealand, the bowler from Gujarat has been the go-to bowler for Kohli.

Bumrah relies on accuracy and is quite nippy and can make the ball move both ways. Bumrah came to prominence while playing for Mumbai Indians in the IPL and caught the attention of selectors with his awkward action and raw pace. Bumrah made his international debut against Australia at Sydney, 2016 and straight away impressed with his death bowling and ability to ball pin point yorkers. The bowler has learned the craft of death bowling by sheer practice and also being in the same side as Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians) and India’s Achilles heel of leaking runs in death overs has been greatly helped by confident Bumrah. The young pacer often bowls at the difficult phases of the game (powerplay, death overs) and his execution under pressure is second to none and is becoming the strike bowler for men in blue.

Jasprit Bumrah recently became the second fastest Indian bowler to reach 50 wickets in ODI cricket by playing 28 matches and the great thing about Bumrah is that he keeps the game simple and focusses on basics and despite having variations just like everyone else, but doesn’t overdo it and has great match awareness. The temperament and skill shown by Bumrah at such a young age is very good for Indian cricket and Bumrah is yet to play Test cricket. The real test for Bumrah like any other bowler will come when opposition will work him out and then Bumrah has to reinvent himself and prove that he is not a one season wonder.

Also read: ‘Jasprit Bumrah worked a lot on his action’

India is already looking ahead and the team hierarchy is making plans for the 2019 World Cup. The performance shown by Bumrah despite having little experience at the highest level will make him an integral part of the Indian squad and Bumrah just has to grind out and produce match-winning performances to cement his place and if he does the processes right then result will take care of itself, and Bumrah might make his Test debut sooner rather than later.