Ian Pont: Bumrah’s unique style creates an advantage

Having an unusual action and run-up can be slightly distracting for a batsman, says Ian Pont, the author of the best-seller The Fast Bowler’s Bible.

An unusual action and run-up can be slightly distracting for a batsman, says Ian Pont.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

Since Jasprit Bumrah has grown up with his action, it has become a movement pattern he has adapted to over the years, says Ian Pont, the former Essex and Nottinghamshire fast bowler and now head coach at the Ultimate Pace Foundation and the National Fast Bowling Academy, explaining how the pace bowler has remained injury-free.

“Like water, an action wants to find the least line of resistance and so it is true for him,” says Pont, the author of the best-seller The Fast Bowler’s Bible, Coaching Youth Cricket and Ultimate Pace Secrets.

Pont speaks to Sportstar on the evolution of Bumrah.

Is Bumrah effective only because of his action?

Bumrah has learned the skills of how to bowl and when to bowl specific deliveries. This is what makes him so effective. Having an unusual action and run-up can be slightly distracting for a batsman. He does many of the things correctly that you need to bowl fast but does them in his own way. This unique style creates an advantage and certainly suits him as a person.

Is Bumrah the most deceptive bowler in world cricket?

The fact he has pace, control and the ability to vary his speed makes him one of the most effective in world cricket across all formats of the game. If he was lacking in any of the main departments (speed, control, skills), he could still be successful. But having all three means he is at the top of the tree in terms of a wicket-taking threat as well as someone able to finish off a match with great defensive bowling.

How has he avoided injuries with such an action?

Again, because he has grown up with this action, it has become a movement pattern he has adapted to over the years. Like water, an action wants to find the least line of resistance and so it is true for him. His injury issues therefore might only come from over bowling (in Test cricket) or from bowling too often in training and not being monitored. So at this stage, I don’t see an issue for him.

How does he generate pace?

Three things that create Bumrah’s speed (are) a locked-out straight front leg, a very fast arm and good use of his hips. By locking out his leg, he creates a braking force that helps transfer his ground speed into the ball. He assists this by keeping his back foot in contact up until ball release, which makes for a stable base to launch from. Through that movement, he drives his hip forward (from a front on back foot landing position) that helps catapult his rotational arm pull very quickly. He rotates like a windmill. It appears Bumrah has a hyperextention just prior to delivery, which can assist with the final flick into release.

Which aspect of his bowling impresses you the most?

Bumrah’s ability to extract anything available from the surface of a pitch is underpinned by his immaculate probing of line. He knows exactly where to bowl and what lengths will work the best for him relative to the batsman. It is this understanding and the skill to execute under pressure, that makes him a real go-to bowler for any team. I can only see him improving, and we will be talking about Jasprit Bumrah a lot more.