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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

England tour reason for lethality in swing: Jasprit Bumrah

Bumrah picked 13 wickets in the two-Test series—including a hat-trick in the first innings of the second Test against West Indies.

cricket Updated: Sep 14, 2019 08:52 IST
Jasprit Bumrah during the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Jasprit Bumrah during the 2019 Cricket World Cup.(AP)
         

For anyone who recalls the delivery that Jasprit Bumrah bowled to dismiss Keaton Jennings in the Southampton Test last year, the recently concluded West Indies series may have been just a case of taking a walk down memory lane.

Bumrah picked 13 wickets in the two-Test series—including a hat-trick in the first innings of the second Test. But more than helping India wrap things up quickly, it were the wickets that spoke of how he had successfully added another weapon in his armoury—the out-swinger. Quite like Jennings, who was haplessly trapped in front, the Caribbean batsmen were left clueless with this lethal variation.

Jennings wasn’t shouldering arms; he simply did not have a shot to offer despite the ball landing in the corridor.

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It was a similar case for John Campbell and Darren Bravo—the latter the first victim of his hat-trick at Kingston. They simply didn’t expect the delivery to move the way it did. It wasn’t Bumrah-esque. Both were dismissed off in-swingers in the first Test and fell to out-swingers in the second.

Bumrah credited the England tour for mastering the art. “I always used to have the out-swingers. I have not used it a lot but playing in England did give me a lot of confidence. The Duke ball does swing for a longer period of time. So, because I got more and more confident as I played the Test matches, I could execute it well,” he said at a promotional event here.

“In white ball cricket, the ball doesn’t swing for a long period so you have to assess what kind of delivery works every time. I was working on it (the out-swinger) for a long period. I used it in England as well when we were playing against county teams. You can’t use everything in one match. You just try to assess the conditions on the given day and see what could work.”

Having picked five or more wickets in seven of the 12 Tests he has played so far also helped Bumrah become the fastest Indian pacer to pick 50 wickets. He’s yet to play a Test in India though, but Bumrah isn’t bothered ahead of the three-match series at home against South Africa.

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“I’ve played Ranji Trophy all my life in India. So it’s not like that this is an alien condition for me. It’s just another challenge that I am looking forward to,” he said.

“Playing Tests will be a different experience. The learning that I have gotten from the tours to Australia, South Africa, England, West Indies will hopefully get me more results. The preparations have already started. As soon as I join we will discuss with the team management and the senior players, who have played a lot of cricket over here as to what works, what doesn’t work, so will take everything into consideration and see how it goes.”

First Published: Sep 14, 2019 08:52 IST