Monday, February 26, 2024
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HomeSportJasprit Bumrah, the puzzle outside the curriculum in an equal contest |...

Jasprit Bumrah, the puzzle outside the curriculum in an equal contest | Cricket News – Times of India

Pacer has taken pitch out of the equation upon his return from injury, leaving opposing hitters perplexed and pundits delirious.
Cricket fans who may have been busy last Saturday afternoon and missed the action from the second session of the second day’s play between India and England, missed out on something incredibly special. Perhaps as special as the fourth day match against Australia at Eden Gardens in 2001, when VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid were batting.
On a beautiful batting pitch in Vizag, the spell that Jasprit Bumrah produced to remove the stylish Joe Root, Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow in form was on a par with some of the best spells of pace bowling that have been played in India in the last 40 years.

The match figures of 9-91 along with the Man of the Match award on a pitch that was supposed to help the spinners went a long way. boomra becoming the number one ICC ranked Test bowler, the first Indian pacer to achieve the feat. The other three were Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Bishan Singh Bedi. Don’t forget that he has already been number one in ODIs and T20Is!, which only underlines the versatility and special skills of the 30-year-old.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain rightly said there is no shame in losing to “a genius”. The English batsmen barely made a mistake. It had nothing to do with Bazball’s implosion; it was just that the pace, movement and variation that Bumrah generated completely tipped the scales in India’s favor in the second Test. After tea, England captain Ben Stokes’ reaction after being bowled by the Mumbai player said it all: “I don’t know how to deal with this.”

Bumrah has only played six Test matches in India, but his average at home on pitches not conducive to bowling is a ridiculous 13.6. Compare this to other Indian greats: Kapil Dev (26.49) and Zaheer Khan (35.87) – and you know what we’re talking about.

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“Bumrah’s overall average is around 20 (20.19) and he already has more than 150 wickets… We used to hear such numbers from Malcolm Marshall or Richard Hadlee. This is phenomenal,” Lakshmipathy Balaji told TOI.


Balaji, the former Indian pacer, was the bowling coach of the Chennai Super Kings for a long time and has seen Bumrah’s fantastic T20 spells for Mumbai Indians up close. But it is Bumrah’s consistency in Test cricket that has left Balaji amazed.

“The angle that Bumrah generates is a godsend. Coming from the stumps, the areas he can bowl at sometimes defy physics. It’s Bumrah’s ability to take pitch out of the equation that makes him so special. ..When we were little As cricketers, we used to see Wasim Akram either Waqar Younis doing this, it feels good to see one of our own go around the world,” Balaji said.


When the wiry pacer burst onto the scene in 2015, he was touted as the next Malinga. Given his unorthodox action in bowling a short run that created a lot of pressure on his shoulder and back, the popular notion was that a miss was not far away.
Still, it was Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri who decided to use him in overseas Tests, a decision that greatly contributed to India becoming a feared touring team in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia. But the inevitable happened. Bumrah suffered a stress fracture in his back which kept him out of cricket for almost a year in 2022-23.

Upon his return, Bumrah once again proved that he is one of a kind. Balaji, who suffered a back injury in his prime that made him half the bowler he was, said: “Bumrah’s form on his return from injury is somewhat similar to that of Dennis Lillee. The great Australian, who also suffered a serious back injury (in the late 1970s) but returned as a mature and much more powerful bowler. Bumrah is doing just that. He has not lost his pace, which has not lessened your fear factor. I can tell you from experience to do this. It’s incredibly difficult.”
In four Tests he has played since his return, Bumrah’s average is 11.66!
If not for Bumrah, India could well have lost the Test series in South Africa earlier in the year and lost 2-0 against England, who came well prepared to spin. But Bumrah’s genius really lies outside the syllabus. This is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, as long as his body holds up.

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