'I wasn't always like this. When I first started playing cricket...': Jasprit Bumrah opens up on dealing with setbacks

Updated on Sep 30, 2022 02:02 PM IST

While the nation continues to wrap their heads around the fact their premier pacer may not be in Australia for the World Cup, Jasprit Bumrah threw light on how he deals with setbacks in general.

A stress fracture in the back has all but ruled Jasprit Bumrah out of T20 World Cup(Getty)
A stress fracture in the back has all but ruled Jasprit Bumrah out of T20 World Cup(Getty)

Jasprit Bumrah can easily be the poster boy for fast bowling in the current era of cricket. He has all the elements – pace, agility and the build to really crank it up. However, the one trait is not synonymous with Bumrah is needless aggression or over the top celebration. In fact, Bumrah is one the few pacers in the world who is ridiculously calm for a fast bowler. Very rare will you see him get carried away. Bumrah doesn't dish out foul words, for he is aware that all it is the ball that needs to do the talking.

Surprisingly, that wasn't always the case. The sight of a young Bumrah castling AB de Villiers during an IPL match and giving him a send-off is long gone now but there was a time when BOOM would allow the emotions to get the better of him. But having top-level cricket for almost seven years and shared the dressing room with some of Indian cricket's behemoths, Bumrah has evolved craftily and knows what he has to do.

Also Read - 'Stress fracture might have been...': Ex-India cricketer makes huge claim about pacer Jasprit Bumrah

"No, I was not always like this. In fact, when I started playing cricket it was the other way around. I was a little too aggressive, always on the go, always sitting on the edge... I could get angry really quickly. But then I realized that moving further if my emotions are not kept in check, then there's going to be a lot of variation in my results," Bumrah told veteran Sports Journalist Jamie Alter in an interview with GQ India.

"I quickly understood that if this was the game that I always wanted to excel in, I needed to figure out how to control my emotions. Stability really helps. I learned that on the go; obviously you learn from experiences, you make mistakes. I chose to look at these experiences and then asked myself how I could get the best out of these situations."

Of course, the news of Bumrah potentially missing the T20 World Cup comes as a huge blow barely three weeks before the start of the tournament. The Indian cricket team has been grappling some serious death-bowling issues, and Bumrah, the only bowler who looks to have cracked that code, is now pretty much out of reckoning. While the nation continues to wrap their heads around the fact their premier pacer may not be in Australia for the World Cup, Bumrah threw light on how he deals with setbacks in general.

"If it's been a bad day, I switch off for a while. If my mind starts to wander, I divert it to something else. Then I come back and I analyse. Good day or bad, I analyse it and tell myself to remember what produced results. I depend on my own evaluation, but when I don't have answers then I look to people I trust and believe in. Then I go to the coaches and seek advice. But after that, I filter the noise out, because at the end of the day I understand my game better than anyone else. I've made a career on my own," he added.

Setbacks are not new for Bumrah. His first encounter with adversity happened at a very young age. Bumrah was all but five years old when he lost his father and it was then that the India quick recalls how everyone in the family came together, the first step towards Bumrah today becoming a self-made man.

"My mother had to start working. We had seen ups, and then one day we were back to zero. So now, when we are back to another high, we stay stable because we have seen that low. We know that we cannot go ­crazy. That period has taught us so much. My mother has done so much for us, and we cannot ever repay her. We've bonded as a family because of what we've gone through and we're very grateful for what we've received. We know how the world changes when things don't go well. That's why today we’re respectful of the good times and remain humble," said Bumrah.

"My mother was never firm in saying to me, 'This is what you have to do', but she did want me to have a career that would give me security. But that's about it. She did not force anything on me, never told me I had to become a doctor or ­engineer," he says. "In fact, it would have been difficult for her to see me as a doctor or engineer because I was always playing cricket. She must have looked at me and wondered 'What will he do?' Yet one thing my mother was adamant about since she was a school principal, was that I learn the English language."

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