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  5. Jasprit Bumrah: Delivering on the big stage with ridiculous ease and consistency

Jasprit Bumrah: Delivering on the big stage with ridiculous ease and consistency

Jasprit Bumrah was adjudged the player of the match for the second successive game as he led a sensational bowling effort from India to stop Pakistan from chasing down 120 on a tricky New York wicket. And, Bumrah? He just revels in crunch situations and is delivering for the team.

Written By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: June 11, 2024 9:00 IST
Jasprit Bumrah has been the star of the T20 World Cup so
Image Source : GETTY/INDIA TV Jasprit Bumrah has been the star of the T20 World Cup so far for the Indian team with five wickets including a special performance against Pakistan

Jasprit Bumrah, period! For my generation of scribes, fans and viewers of the game, the legend of Don Bradman, Vivian Richards, Sunil Gavaskar and even Sachin Tendulkar to a certain extent was limited to YouTube videos, archival footage and the stories from our parents, historians, senior journos. Virat Kohli is one, who started his journey as a young cricketer and has grown in front of our eyes and gone on to become one of the greatest of all time. But it's just a different joy seeing a fast bowler dominate and effectively dictate terms when the game is leaning heavily in the batters' favour.

When a skinny, lanky Bumrah first emerged 11 years ago, no one would have imagined the greatness and respect, even from the batters all around the world, he would go on to achieve. Greatness looks effortless. When the greats operate, it feels like they'd run for elections they'd win that too. They could fly without a parachute or they'd swim deep under the water without any life-jacket. That's how watching the greats feels like. Someone at the peak of their power, that they can do anything under the sun with ridiculous ease. When they exercise that power, you just admire them and feel lucky that you can watch them do their thing in flesh and blood. 

In case of Bumrah, it's this and a lot more. Since, he plays for India, the emotions and patriotic fervor usually stay at the brim. And when it's India vs Pakistan, the same emotions and all those feelings get multiplied by a thousand since there is reputation at stake. A World Cup game against Pakistan, nothing can get bigger than that for an Indian player at the highest level and Bumrah was owning it like he was playing in his backyard.

A frustratingly recurring back stress fracture, subsequent surgery and the unending rehab almost threatened Bumrah's future, not just as a three-format bowler for India but as a cricketer, playing regularly and being available for the big games and tournaments. However, as they say, 'the comeback is always bigger than the setback' and Bumrah's return is a reflection of the same.

ODI World Cup last year, the South Africa Tests, the England Test series, whole of the IPL and now the T20 World Cup, it has been one of the stories of Indian cricket in recent times. Bumrah has made minor adjustments to his action, stride, delivery point to literally get the monkey off his back. The minor adjustments, like getting his head more in line with his front foot is helping him not fall over due to his action and hence not putting that extra pressure on his back.

A fit Bumrah is probably the best pacer India has produced. Yes, it's debatable and that's what opinions are for but seeing Bumrah first come to the big stage and then probably eating up batting line-ups for breakfast, lunch and dinner irrespective of the conditions, batting line-up, match situations is a sight to behold. He just delivers. Yes, he is also human - sometimes it doesn't feel like that - and has bad days, but he is always learning, he is always giving his best, he is always doing his process right. 

And Sunday was no different. If you watch the highlights package of the 24 balls Bumrah bowled, there was hardly any yorker. There were the attempted ones, which turned out to be full tosses, a couple of them in his last over no less. However, having played at the venue twice before, Bumrah knew the menu card and served hard lengths for probably the entirety of his spell. He kept the lengths in that 6-8 metre area and let the surface do with an odd bouncer or change in pace but didn't step away from the plan.

India Tv - Jasprit Bumrah exults after the big wicket of Mohammad Rizwan

Image Source : APJasprit Bumrah exults after the big wicket of Mohammad Rizwan

And he got the success. The wickets of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed is probably the most of the batting for Pakistan and the Men in Green fell six runs short despite restricting India to just 119. More than the bowler, his work ethic, how he looks at the game and despite being in control of whatever he does, he always looks at himself as a learner, the student of the game. But when you listen to him talk, it seems like you are in a lecture and a professor is explaining you the hows and whys of a subject.

Bumrah is once in a generation player and it will be the team management and physios' responsibility to let this generation get the joy of seeing him run and bowl for the longest time.

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