Achieving greater heights
AFTER just one year as a Test cricketer, Jasprit Bumrah is being heralded as the best bowler in the world. But, to understand his success now, one has to trace his journey back to Ahmedabad, talk to his mother, friends and early coaches about this shy but determined boy who loved only cricket.
More than a decade ago Bumrah was a boy, he has now become a household name. The 25year-old pacer ran through the Australians in Melbourne, has already pocketed quite a few records. In just one year of playing tests, he has taken 48 wickets, and has left many batsmen sleepless nights.
Though Bumrah has done quite well in South Africa and England in early 2018, it was his nine wicket haul in the boxing day test that propelled him to great heights. The Captain himself called him the best bowler in the world and several experts had his name on their lips.
Bumrah started playing cricket in his early teens at Nirman High School in Ahmedabad. His mother, Daljit, also worked there, and is currently principal of the pre-primary section. Kishore Trivedi and Ketul Purohit, two of his early coaches, spotted talent in him. “His only passion and bowling was a God-given gift”, says Purohit. The coach remembers how batsmen would underestimate Bumrah because of his short run up.”, he says. “And, if they started adjusting to that, then it was difficult to judge his natural in-swing.”
Bumrah’s mother did not dissuade him, but she set one condition. “I told him that his studies were important and he should have a breakup plan”, she says. He was an average student, she added, but would always complete his home work before going for practice twice a day. By the time Bumrah reached class eight, his talent became evident. “He would go for selection, trials and matches, and would be selected everywhere. This made him realise that there was something in him”, she says.
Bumrah’s school principal, Leena, remembers him as a sober, well-behaved boy. “He was content with what he was doing”, she says. He was not a top ranker, but a little above average. He was reserved, and would not go out of his way to talk to someone. “Such was his nature that nobody ever complained about him. He was a picture of patience and endurance”, she says, adding that the endurance took him to next level.
He was a natural, say his coaches. He bowled first, and learnt fast. A patient listener, he also worked hard on his fielding. He knew he would have to do so to get into Indian side one day. Says Hitesh Majmudar, coach of the Gujarat Ranji team: “Earlier, Bumrah was not good at fielding. But now you can trust that he will ever misfield or drop a catch.”
Says cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, Bumrah is a complete blower. He has got an in-swinger, out-swinger, Yorker and a sharp short pitched ball. He also bowls reverse swing and, on top of that has a brilliant slower ball. I think ammunition wise, he has got plenty and that can be dangerous. Former Australian cricketer Brad Hodge said Bumrach is a nightmare to face. “If you ask any batsman, he is one of the most dangerous bowlers”, says Hodge. “He is quick, very accurate and moves the ball both ways”.