Jasprit Bumrah: Master of his craft at the peak of his powers

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“Alexa, please play Jasprit Bumrah.” “Sorry, Jasprit Bumrah is unplayable” #ENGvIND.” Famous for his juicy, witty tweets and memes since his retirement, former India opener Wasim Jaffer couldn’t have summed up Jasprit Bumrah’s fiery opening spell, which completely destroyed England’s top-order in the first ODI at The Oval on Tuesday, better.

For someone who started out as a ‘yorker specialist’ when he made his India debut in an ODI against Australia in Sydney in January 2016, ‘Boom Boom’ has indeed come a long way, and has now a rich repertoire up his sleeve. On Tuesday, the Gujarat and Mumbai Indians ace showed how deadly he can be when there’s movement on offer.

Revelling in overcast conditions on a damp pitch with a fair tinge of green, Bumrah blew away England’s normally formidable top-order in white-ball cricket, prising out Jason Roy, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone-three of them for ducks in a sensational first spell of high-class fast bowling which read 5-2-9-4. When he returned for his second spell, he put the icing on the cake, taking his fifth and sixth wickets by cleaning up the stumps of tailenders Brydon Carse and David Willey.

Bumrah is also now the first Indian fast bowler to take six wickets in an ODI innings in England. He’s also the first India pacer to pick up a fiver in both a Test and an ODI in England.
It was as good an opening spell of pace bowling as anyone has produced in ODIs. A breakup of the 28-yearold’s devastating spell in the Powerplay read: 0,0,0,W,0,W,0,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,W,0,5WD,0,0,0,0,0,0,W,0,0,1,WD,0,0,1,0.

Apart from bowling a couple of wides – one down the leg-side for a four, he gave away just three runs off the bat, while ripping out the heart of England’s batting line-up.
Amongst those in awe of Bumrah’s spell was someone who has worked with the India pacer closely over the years former India bowling coach Bharat Arun. “The movement that he got today was outstanding. Not many get to move the white ball so consistently, and that too or an extended period of time. Usually, the ball moves around for the first three overs, and it doesn’t move after that, but today, throughout 8 to 10 overs, he was getting the ball to move around.

On Tuesday, the 28-year-old showed why he’s the leader of India’s pace pack, and arguably the best fast bowlers on the planet across formats, even though he’s at No 5 spot in the ODI rankings. “He’s done this on a regular basis. He’s amongst the top three fast bowlers in the world right now,” Arun complimented.

Describing what made Bumrah so unplayable at The Oval on Tuesday, Arun said: “This was because of the appreciable movement he got in the air. The pace at which he bowls, and the line that he keeps, make it that much difficult to face him, when the ball is moving around.”
Having played 30 Tests, 70 ODIs and 58 T20Is in just six years, Bumrah is aware that he needs to keep evolving at the international level, says Arun. “He’s extremely hard-working. He’s not afraid to come out of his comfort zone and work,” said Arun.

However, even the best go through a bad patch, as Virat Kohli will tell you! There was a period this year, when Bumrah seemed to have lost his bite for a while.
As the Mumbai Indians hurtled from one defeat to another, the premier pacer in world cricket took just five wickets in the first 10 games in IPL 2022. However, against the Kolkata Knight Rider at the DY Patil Stadium on May 9, he roared back into form brilliantly, taking five for 10. Since then, he’s been back to his lethal best. With India set to play three white-ball World Cups starting this year, Bumrah’s sterling form augurs well for the Men in Blue.

Source By – The Times of India

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