It’s been a little over one year since Jasprit Bumrah made his Test debut. In a short span of 12 Test matches, the pace express has claimed 62 wickets at an economy of 2.64.
Bumrah had a big role to play in Team India’s 2-0 series sweep against West Indies in the Caribbean. He returned with 13 wickets overall in four innings — inclusive of a hat-trick. He became the third Indian bowler, after Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan, to take a Test hat-trick in the second Test in Jamaica.
In the first Test in Antigua, he had returned with handsome figures of 5/7 in the first innings.
Post the series triumph, India captain Virat Kohli elaborated on the making of the pace gun. “We are really lucky to have him in our team; very rarely you find a pack of bowlers who are hunting together, bowling in partnerships and bowling for each other. In the second innings, he had a bit of a niggle but he came in and bowled three overs on the spot, did the job for the team even when he was in pain.
“When he gets momentum, you have seen what he can do with the new ball in five or six overs. I haven’t seen more lethal spells than those two (first innings in Antigua and Jamaica),” he said.
‘ You feel for the batsmen’
Kohli had the best seat, at slip cordon, to watch Bumrah in action. In fact, he was instrumental in handing him the hat-trick for reviewing the lbw against Roston Chase.
Beaten on the inside edge, the right-hander found himself trapped in front of the stumps. Though on a hat-trick, Bumrah didn't look too convinced. The umpire didn't raise his finger as well. But Kohli decided to trust his gut feeling. He called for a review that went in India's favour.
“Standing at slips, you can feel for the batsmen who are playing him. He confuses you with angles, with swing. He will set up for an outswinger and bowl an inswinger; all with pace. And then, he can hit you with a bouncer. He is the most complete bowler in world cricket right now,” said Kohli.
Quest for the top
Kohli feels it is Bumrah’s mindset and discipline that is reflecting in the performances.
“It’s the mindset. When you put your mind to a certain thing, you strive towards it. He definitely wants to be the best bowler in the world. He has moulded his life — with discpline and work ethics — like that. The way he trains and takes care of his diet and the way he bowls as much as much as he has to. He knows how much he can contribute to the team.
“It is really pleasing to see a guy, who was tagged as a T20 specialist first, to do well in Tests. He first took over the ODI scene and now, Test cricket. He is proving people wrong. He has the mindset to succeed in all formats,” he added.
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