Jasprit Bumrah has featured in 12 Test matches so far, scalping 62 wickets. But the 25-year-old is yet to don the whites for India at home. The three-match Test series against South Africa, starting October 2 in Visakhapatnam, will be a new beginning for the fast bowler.
Bumrah is stoked. “I have played all my cricket in India before playing for the country, so these are not alien conditions for me. But playing Test matches will be a different experience, ” he said on Friday.
The third quickest Indian bowler — along with Narendra Hirwani and Harbhajan Singh — to 50 Test wickets (in 11 Tests) has already started preparing.
“As soon as I join, we will discuss with the team management and the senior players, who have played a lot of cricket as to what works, what doesn't work, so will take everything into consideration and let's see how it goes,” Bumrah, who joined the Royal Stag dream team, said.
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Since his Test ascension, the national selectors have made it a point to rest Bumrah from white-ball cricket to preserve him for the longer version of the game. Prior to the World Cup 2019, he wasn’t part of limited-overs tours to Australia and New Zealand. “A lot of thought process goes behind this decision."
The training never stops.
“It’s not that I will just rest from white-ball cricket, a lot of preparation will go on because if you play all three formats, you need to be fresh as well. So, when you come back after a break, you are hungry, you want to do well again and all of that plays a massive role for you to be fit and fresh,” he pointed out.
High on confidence after bagging 13 wickets in the Test series against West Indies recently, he made it clear that it's not just the yorkers, he also spends a lot of time to master swing and cutters. “There is a lot of work that goes on behind the camera, so each and every delivery you have to do extra practice, I try and do that. I tick all boxes before I leave the practice session,” he said.
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But did he work on his out-swingers in the short break? “In white-ball cricket, the ball doesn’t swing for a long period of time so you have to assess what kind of delivery works every time. I was working on it (out-swinger) for a long period of time, I used it in England as well when we were playing against county teams. You can't use everything in one match,” he said.
Despite the selectors resting Bumrah for the T20I series against South Africa, the Indian pace bowling attack looks very intense. He enjoys the tough competition.
“It is very good. All of us are very close to each other, we hang out together. There is a lot of camaraderie as well. Obviously, Ishant (Sharma) and (Mohammad) Shami have played a lot more cricket than I have, so I try to ask them if they have come here before, in foreign conditions or home conditions, and then we find out how things are, then we try to motivate each other if anything is not working or maybe working or how we can improve,” Bumrah said.
The Gujarat quick made his presence felt in a short time but he refuses to pick a favourite spell. “For me, every spell is important. When (I played) my first match, first game, first innings, was very special (as) I was bowling in Tests. I do a lot of homework, assess the conditions, ask questions to seniors. I try to listen and filter the ideas.”
After a short break, Bumrah will be joining the team later this month, well in time for the Test series.