Bumrah: ‘Was not looking to take wickets, but to create pressure’

The unorthodox bowler couldn't have asked for a better situation than Wednesday to display his ability to excel under pressure and his artistry with the ball.

Jasprit Bumrah’s return of three for 15 in four overs was instrumental in Mumbai Indians pulling off a three-run win and keep itself in the race for a place in the playoffs.   -  PTI

Over the last four years, Jasprit Bumrah – Boom for the Mumbai Indians (MI) change room – has been synonymous with absorbing the pressure of bowling in the death overs in white-ball cricket. The unorthodox bowler couldn't have asked for a better situation than Wednesday to display his ability to excel under pressure and his artistry with the ball.

After all, the Mumbai Indians was defending a target at Wankhede Stadium against a dangerous Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) outfit. However, K.L. Rahul and Aaron Finch's willow work turned out to be a futile exercise, primarily, due to Bumrah's bowling. The pace bowler's return of three for 15 in four overs was instrumental in Mumbai Indians pulling off a three-run win and keep itself in the race for a place in the playoffs.

“I was backing my plan and I had the belief that if I'll be able to bowl a good over. You always want to bowl a good over, but some days, it doesn't go your way because of the position where I bowl it is difficult, and especially at this ground, with the dew going around, it is always difficult. So, I was just backing myself and having clarity is very important for me,” Bumrah said, after his man of the match-winning effort.

READ: MI stays afloat with a nail-biting win

In fact, every time Rohit Sharma required to pull things back for Mumbai Indians, he turned to Bumrah on Wednesday. Bumrah bowled the second over of the chase, conceding just a run. When Rahul and Finch were set to cut loose, Bumrah returned for the 12th over and granted only four singles to the on-song duo.

With Kings XI requiring 42 off four overs, Sharma threw the ball to Bumrah again and the lanky bowler responded by dismissing Finch and Marcus Stoinis in the 17th. Bumrah, then, completed a superlative performance by dismissing Rahul in the penultimate over to give Mitchell McClenaghan plenty of breathing space for the final over.

“It was not that when we got wickets (off the bouncers), we were not looking to take wickets. Because I wanted to create pressure, wanted to give as little runs as I could (to defend) to Mitchell in the last over,” Bumrah said.

In a high-scoring match, the fact that Bumrah didn't concede a boundary, off his four overs, was a stupendous feat. As Mumbai Indians travels to the national capital for its last league game, the bowler and the team would be hoping for him to repeat his heroics against Rishabh Pant and Co.