I al­ways had the outswinger: Bum­rah

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - Gau­[email protected] times­group.com

Mum­bai: He may have be­come as im­por­tant to In­dia’s bowl­ing as Vi­rat Kohli is to their bat­ting, but it’s clear that Jasprit Bum­rah doesn’t have the flam­boy­ance of his cap­tain as yet. In these times, where crick­eters wear their con­fi­dence, and at times ar­ro­gance on their sleeves, his shy per­sona, hum­ble na­ture and an ever-smil­ing face make him re­fresh­ingly dif­fer­ent.

He may soon be seen in his first solo ad too, but it’s quite ev­i­dent that the fastest In­dian pace bowler ever to 50 Test wick­ets-it took him just 11 Tests, is more com­fort­able ter­ror­iz­ing bats­men in the mid­dle, rather than soak­ing in the lime­light. “I’m very happy. I started play­ing Test cricket a year back and play­ing all three for­mats was my dream. I al­ways wanted to play Test cricket. It’s been a good jour­ney. I’m learn­ing from the ex­pe­ri­ence that I’ve gained by play­ing in South Africa, Eng­land, Aus­tralia and the West Indies. In­dia will be a dif­fer­ent


chal­lenge, which I’m look­ing for­ward to,” he said while at­tend­ing a pro­mo­tional event here.

You are tempted to ask him about the lethal outswinger that helped him toy with the West In­dian bats­men on In­dia’s re­cent tour of the Caribbean, where he took13 wick­ets, in­clud­ing two five-wicket hauls at just 9.23.“I haven’t mas­tered it. I al­ways had the outswinger. I’ve not used it a lot, but bowl­ing in Eng­land, where the Dukes ball swings for a long pe­riod of time, and play­ing more and more Tests, gave me a lot of con­fi­dence,” he says.

His team­mates in In­dia and Gu­jarat tell you that Bum­rah keeps prac­tis­ing the yorker in the nets till he gets it right. “It’s not just that de­liv­ery. (To ex­e­cute) any other de­liv­ery, I do a lot of hard work. There’s a lot of work that goes be­hind the scenes. I’ve to prac­tise ex­tra to ex­e­cute each and ev­ery de­liv­ery,” he stresses.

Per­haps, like most top play­ers, Bum­rah’s suc­cess lies in the home­work that he does be­fore ev­ery se­ries, and that doesn’t in­volve merely slog­ging it out in the nets. “I pre­pare a lot be­fore any match or tour­na­ment. I do a lot of home­work. I try to as­sess the con­di­tions. I try to ask ques­tions to the se­niors about what they think about what I’m plan­ning. I try to lis­ten to these things, fil­ter it out, so that (I can judge that) these are the things that I can do, and these are the things that I can’t do,” he ex­plains.

It helps Bum­rah that he seems to en­joy a great equa­tion with In­dia skip­per Vi­rat Kohli. “You must have seen on TV how Vi­rat leads from the front with his per­for­mances. He backs all his team­mates … gives his bowlers a lot of con­fi­dence. He gives you com­plete freedom to bowl the way you want to bowl, to ex­press your­self. It feels good when your cap­tain has that kind of be­lief in you,” the 25-year-old gushed.


Jasprit Bum­rah cel­e­brates tak­ing a wicket against WI

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