Bumrah: ‘If I get a chance, I can show what I am capable of’

After another impressive performance in the limited overs format against England, Jasprit Bumrah is back with the Gujarat side for the Vijay Hazare tournament starting on Saturday.

Jasprit Bumrah says he prepares differently for different formats   -  AP

After another impressive performance in the limited overs format against England, Jasprit Bumrah is back with the Gujarat side for the Vijay Hazare tournament starting on Saturday. The India fast-bowler joins his State side after winning the Ranji Trophy earlier this year. He spoke about death bowling, his Test ambitions and more in a freewheeling chat with Sportstar.

Excerpts….

You have done well in the shorter formats. How keen are you to play in the longer format and how prepared are you? Have the selectors told you where you stand with regards to Test cricket?

It is always a dream to play Test cricket but I don't focus on selections. I try to do what is there in my hand. I try to do well wherever I play. So my focus is on that. I did well this year in the Ranji Trophy. I have bowled long spells for India A and in the Ranji Trophy, so I am mentally prepared for that.

You never know when your chance will come. You have to be mentally prepared and be in best shape possible.

You are good at bowling at the death. Do you fear you could be typecast as a ODI/T20 bowler?

It doesn't matter to me what people think. I don't think like that. My preparation is different for every format. In Ranji Trophy, I focus on consistent line and length, bowling longer spells, using the shorter ball and trying to swing the ball.

In shorter format, you have to adapt to that using the slower balls and yorkers. People have only seen me bowling with the white ball for India or in IPL. But it doesn't matter what people think. I have the confidence that if I get a chance, I can show what I am capable of.

How much effort has gone into perfecting the yorker?

I used to play a lot of tennis ball cricket, so that could be a reason but it requires consistent practice. Day in and day out, you have to practice the yorker because it is a difficult ball to bowl and in pressure situations, it is even more difficult to get it right. I always have a dedicated session on death bowling at the nets. So that gives me a proper plan and preparation before any match.

Do you practice yorkers by keeping a shoe at the popping crease?

Yes, I sometimes do that but it is better to do with a batsman because a shoe doesn't move. You can adjust and adapt when a batsman is around and that is the way I prefer to practice.

You have interacted with Lasith Malinga earlier. This time, Mitchell Johnson will also be with Mumbai Indians. What are the things you would be asking them?

I have played with Johnson in 2013 and I have good memories. I usually talk to Malinga on issues related to death bowling. I will ask him for suggestions, what he thinks about my game and what he saw in my matches. It is always good to have a word with him, what he thinks and what I should try.

People have only seen me bowling with the white ball for India or in IPL. But it doesn't matter what people think. - Bumrah

Do you feel any difference in the way Virat Kohli and M.S. Dhoni handled you in the death overs?

I don't feel any difference. He (Kohli) was the vice-captain when Mahi bhai was the captain. So both of them used to come and give their suggestions. They suggest the kind of field I can use. Even in the recent series, both of them came in and gave suggestions. It is just that Virat goes out for the toss. Otherwise it is like the old days.

How do you plan on bowling to a batsman like Kohli?

It’s difficult. He is a master batsman. You have to always have a clear plan and try to stick to it even if it doesn’t go your way. You try to think like a batsman and think where the batsman will hit. The game is batting-friendly with short boundaries and flat wickets. So you will have little margin for error. You fix that this is the ball you are going to bowl and believe in that ball.

How do you visualise when you are bowling the last over? Do you set the field or allow the captain to do it?

You have to keep everything in mind, be it the wicket, the ground size, the dew factor as well as the batsman. I prefer to have my own field. I tell the captain this is the field I want and this is the ball I am going to bowl and ask him for his suggestions. I see if the wicket is dry or if the ball is wet and decide what ball will be more effective.

Fast bowlers hunt in pairs. So which bowler do you feel comfortable having at the other end?

I am comfortable with anyone. I have bowled a lot with Ashish Nehra in T20. He has a lot of experience to share. That always helps as he gives you options saying ‘you can do this or that’.

What is the impact of two new balls for a bowler like you?

It is always helpful when the ball reverses but with the new rules, the ball doesn't get old enough. So it is difficult to bowl yorkers because the margin of error is very little. If the ball is reversing, it dips and goes late as well and you can pick wickets. But you have to adapt and practice accordingly.

Whose wicket has given you maximum satisfaction ?

It is not a particular batsman. But my first international wicket was very memorable. Whenever you come to the side, you want to get your first wicket as soon as possible so you can make an impact and get rid of the pressure.

Do you have two options in your mind when you run in to bowl?

No, I always have one ball in mind that this will be the one. It’s difficult to have two deliveries in mind. But I try to have one in mind. If the batsman moves at the last moment, you try to change the line. It’s difficult to do that.