Jasprit Bumrah's return from injury was highly anticipated in the Indian cricket fraternity but since his comeback, it hasn't gone according to plan for him and the Indian team. Bumrah's number has continued to plummet since his return against Sri Lanaka earlier this year and in the New Zealand series, it has touched a new low.
Following his spell at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday, he has now gone wicketless in three consecutive games -- a first in his ODI career so far.
The pacers numbers in his last five ODIs show a stark decline in his productivity. While his economy remains good despite a rise, the wickets coloumn, strike rate and average tell a different story. In his last five ODIs, he has taken only one wicket at an average of 237.0 at a strike-rate of 277.0 and ecomony of 5.13.
In T20Is, Bumrah has taken 8 wickets from 8 games since his return to the shortest format of the game. Out of the 8 wickets, three came against New Zealand in the last T20I at Mount Maunganui. In the 8 games, his economy has been over 7 on three ocassions with the highest being 11.25 against the Black Caps in Hamilton when he conceded 45 off his 4 overs and went wicketless.
A reason behind Bumrah's fall in numbers can be attributed to his inability to bowl yorkers at will unlike before. While the attempt remains, the line has often remained the concern with some balls going down the leg side for easy boundaries. Bumrah's effectiveness hasn't been helped by the fact that the pitches have not been too friendly.
His line remains a concern and he has bowled as many as 14 wides in the three-match ODI series against Australia. In fact, it went a step further in the first ODI match against New Zealand on Wednesday, where he bowled an astonishing 13 wides.
Another reason that can affect Bumrah's lack of returns could be his injury. Returning from a stress fracture isn't easy and the signs are fully there. He was ruled out of India's home season after picking up the injury during India's tour of West Indies in 2019 and since then he missed series against South Africa, Bangladesh and the home series against West Indies last year.
Bumrah's ineffectiveness has left India high and dry in the death overs with the Men in Blue devoid of a bowler who could not only stem the run flow but also clean up the opposition on his own. While return to form could be right around the corner for a player of his calibre, the early signs of decline could be concering for Virat Kohli & Co. going in a World Cup year