Does Jasprit Bumrah receive the acknowledgement in red-ball cricket he deserves?
Jasprit Bumrah has been the mainstay of India’s pace bowling attack for close to three years now. Featuring for Mumbai Indias, Bumrah caught the eye of the selectors due to his unusual action and his ability to bowl yorkers at will. For the first couple of years, he was deemed to be an essential cog in India’s limited overs unit, before finally breaking into the Test side this year.
In his first series as a Test player, he grabbed 14 wickets, including a 5-wicket haul in Johannesburg against South Africa. He bowled at an average and strike rate of 25.36 and 48.07 respectively.
In his next away series, the 25-year-old accumulated 14 wickets in 3 Test matches against England. He did not feature in the first two Tests of the series. On his return, he took a 5-wicket haul at Nottingham, helping India to win the match by 203 runs. India may have lost the series, but Jasprit Bumrah had done enough to make his presence felt in their red-ball setup.
India went to Australia without an away win in Test matches against them for close to a decade. In their first match of the tour at Adelaide, Jasprit Bumrah made his intentions known with a total of 6 wickets in the match. In that match, he played the role of a partnership breaker. His knack of taking wickets at crucial stages unsettled Australia and proved to be pivotal in India registering an historic win ‘Down Under’. At Perth, he bowled at an average of 18.4, taking 5 wickets in the match.
After eight Test matches, no India pace bowler has taken more wickets than Jasprit Bumrah (39). Having played all his Test matches away from home, this is a splendid achievement for a bowler booming to become a stalwart in world cricket. Only Sreesanth and Venkatesh Prasad had taken more than 35 at the same stage (37 each).
Jasprit Bumrah’s rise to international cricket is no co-incidence. His angle, pace and variety keep the batsmen on their toes. He is relentless with his accuracy which makes him a standout. The ability to generate extra bounce from the surface makes him an exciting prospect for the future.