When velocity combines with precision, the effect can be devastating. These laser-guided deliveries do swing games.
Jasprit Bumrah seldom misses the target even during extreme pressure situations. And he has the temperament to match his ability.
The 23-year-old slinger from Ahmedabad has been India's pace spearhead for the shorter formats. He swings the new ball away, whiile unleashing potent yorkers at the death.
The Aussies will be wary of Bumrah’s bombshells in the upcoming ODI and Twenty20 series against India, beginning at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on September 17.
Predictably, Bumrah grabbed the eyeballs during India’s 6-0 sweep of the shorter formats in the recently concluded tour of Sri Lanka. When the batsmen miss, he invariably hits the stumps.
His numbers tell the story – 41 scalps in 21 ODIs at 20.87 (economy rate 4.68) and 34 wickets from 25 Twenty20 internationals at 18.38 (ER: 6.70).
In Bumrah’s remarkable progress in white ball cricket, much credit should go to the present Indian bowling coach B. Arun. Right from his under-19 days at the NCA, Bengaluru, Arun has worked extensively on Bumrah.
The endeavour has never been to change his unique style but to make it more efficient. Bumrah’s methods make it hard for the batsmen to settle into any kind of rhythm against him.
The lanky paceman’s load up is so much away from his body that it is incredible that his arm is stretched fully and straight as he delivers the ball.
And for a long lever bowler, he has a deceptively whippy, quick-arm action. The batsmen tend to pick Bumrah’s deliveries a fraction later than most pacemen.
Hours of practice have enabled Bumrah to perfect his yorkers. Bowling an effective toe-crusher is a lot about understanding the release point and it is here that Bumrah has put in the hard yards.
And he sends down a variety of yorkers. He can get the delivery to tail in or dart away from middle to off. And Bumrah can send down the faster and the slower yorker without any noticeable change in his action.
Alterations of speed
Indeed, it is the alterations of speed that makes him such a threat. Bumrah can deliver the knuckle ball and the slow off-spinner. He brings about subtle shifts in line around the off-stump and can get the ball to climb to prevent batsmen from getting on to the front foot.
Such was the effectiveness of Bumrah when he took the pace off the ball that Gujarat Lions star Brendon McCullum struggled to put bat to ball in the Super Over of the clash against Mumbai Indians in last IPL. Even in the star-studded Mumbai Indians, Bumrah has often shone bright.
The Indian pace pack of Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami, denting egos and slicing through line-ups, is humming these days.
And Bumrah is busy scalp-hunting and celebrating his kills. This pace predator promises to devour more victims.
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