File image of Jasprit Bumrah.(File)
File image of Jasprit Bumrah.(File)

India vs Australia: Jasprit Bumrah and dictating the pace

India vs Australia: Jasprit Bumrah has landed in Australia ready to build on his formidable record—68 wickets in 14 Tests at 20.33 and 104 wickets in 64 ODIs; 109 wickets in 92 T20Is—and as the X-factor.
By Sanjjeev K Samyal | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON NOV 24, 2020 08:42 AM IST

It was 2016. India had lost the first four ODIs in Australia. Skipper MS Dhoni was frustrated as his top-order batsmen were belting the skin off the white ball, but the bowlers were proving easy meat to the home batsmen. No total was enough. India made 309/3 at Perth and lost by five wickets. At Brisbane, they scored 308/8 and lost by seven wickets. At Melbourne their 295/6 ended in a three-wicket loss. In Canberra, India conceded 348/8, and the batsmen could do only so much (323).

A day before the final ODI, a rookie bowler from Ahmedabad, Jasprit Bumrah, landed in Sydney instead of going directly to Adelaide with the other T20 squad members arriving from India. The Indian board could not get him a seat on the flight with the Adelaide group. So, it was decided he would travel out of Sydney after the fifth ODI with those joining the T20 squad.

Also read: Hafeez lashes out at former Pak captain over retirement remark

As it turned out, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out with a left thumb fracture and Bumrah was handed the India cap and rushed into the Sydney game. Informed only in the morning, he was in the thick of action without one India net session.

To pick Steve Smith as the first wicket settled the nerves. And something changed in the bowling group. It wasn’t so much about wickets; Bumrah was exerting pressure on the Australia batsmen, who found it difficult to score off deliveries slanted into them off a unique, high-arm action. Day 1 of international duty and he was the most economical—10-0-40-2. The Australia juggernaut was finally halted as India won their first game. It was another high-scoring tie (Australia made 330/7 and India won by 6 wickets), but the advantage of 10-odd extra runs Australia were getting was transferred by Bumrah to India.

For the rest of the tour, the hosts didn’t have a clue. India’s bowlers started complementing the efforts of the batsmen as they swept the T20 series 3-0. In the final analysis, spoils were shared as both teams ended with four wins each.

SERIES WIN

Bumrah, though, was far from a finished article. In the next two years, more international experience and a rigorous fitness regime meant by the time India landed in Australia for the 2018-19 series, he was the world’s best pace bowler. Vicious and moving the ball at high speed from awkward lengths, Bumrah wreaked havoc on Australia in the four Tests, claiming a joint-best series tally of 21 wickets averaging just 17 as India won their first-ever series in Australia.

Australia’s batting this time boasts of Steve Smith and David Warner—they were serving a ban in 2018-19—and Marnus Labuschange. Their plan is to tire out Bumrah.

Also read: ‘Keeper is MS Dhoni, no one can touch his spot’: Kapil Dev names his ‘Kapil 11’ team

How this contest shapes up is likely to decide the four-Test series. Australia won’t read much into Bumrah’s struggles in New Zealand at the start of the year. A long lay-off due to a lower-back stress fracture had curtailed his preparation before that tour. Having just helped Mumbai Indians win IPL, he looks back to his best.

The overs bowled in IPL has helped Bumrah get back to a level at which he exudes power—“I can do whatever I want”. He bagged 27 wickets in 15 IPL games. The familiar sight of stumps sent flying with yorkers and batsmen fall to bouncers suggests all is well with him. Great news for India’s pace pack.

SMITH CONTEST

Smith averages 84 in 10 Tests against India. In the only series he played against India in Australia in 2014-15, he averaged 128-plus in four Tests—769 runs with four hundreds—a record to intimidate any opponent.

Bumrah sets out for the Smith contest with a free mind. Like in Sydney in 2016, when he had him caught, paving the way for victory.

“Rather than trying to change things or think I’m bowling to Steve Smith or David Warner, I could just try to do the things I was doing in domestic cricket, play this like I’m playing for Gujarat. I was happy,” he said in an earlier interview about his mindset on India debut.

There’s no doubt Australia are expending lot of energy planning for Bumrah. But video analysts and team strategists can only help so much.

Every defender knew how former Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben will come at him. No amount of video analysis was enough to teach how to stop him from cutting in—charging in nudging the ball before a sudden swerve, and he was gone. Bumrah often leaves batsmen feeling that helpless.

Australia’s plan to tire him out is a defensive ploy that works with most bowlers. India did that to Mitchell Starc and Co in 2018-19, with Cheteshwar Pujara as the anchor. But Bumrah’s pace, variety and angle of delivery is a unique challenge. The stock incoming delivery is followed by a sharp bouncer or yorker; in between he slips in a pitched-up delivery that straightens or deviates late. That makes him unplayable even when a batsman is set.

Former India bowling coach, Joe Dawes, told the Sydney Morning Herald he expects Bumrah to test Smith like New Zealand left-arm Neil Wanger did, with the short ball. “Bumrah is always coming at you ... a bit like Courtney Walsh, (his release is) just past the vertical, coming in at you, then he gets one to hit the seam and hold its line. It makes it really hard to play,” Dawes said. “As a right-hander, if the ball is always coming in at you, and he gets his line right, there aren’t many places to go. You duck or lean back. Especially if it’s skidding, it’s hard work.”

At the level Smith and Bumrah operate, it’s not about variety. It’s about when to use which weapon, and the counter tactic for it. It will be a battle in the head as much about skills. “There’s no particular way you get a batsman out. You study what the wicket is doing, then select the best option. What I look to do against any good batsman is have patience. A Test is a patience game. You wait for the batsmen to make mistakes. Whoever loses their patience first is the one who is going to suffer,” Bumrah had said in that interview, on how to get Smith out.

STAYING CALM

Bumrah doesn’t get carried away, underlining his hunger for success. Like Smith, game after game, his intensity never drops. In the interview, he explained: “I have never been overwhelmed. Never. Even in IPL when I played in front of big crowds before playing for the country. I hardly pay attention to what’s going on around me. For me, it’s all about enjoyment. I play because I love the game. We used to play as kids on empty grounds; nobody would see what we are doing.”

Bumrah has landed in Australia ready to build on his formidable record—68 wickets in 14 Tests at 20.33 and 104 wickets in 64 ODIs; 109 wickets in 92 T20Is—and as the X-factor.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Rahul Dravid and his email to Kevin Pietersen
Rahul Dravid and his email to Kevin Pietersen

Pietersen wants ECB to 'print' Dravid's email and give it to young Eng batsmen

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 10:52 PM IST
Kevin Pietersen first took to Twitter to and said Rahul Dravid’s email had changed his game against spin-bowling. “Crawley & Sibley need to go find the email that Dravid sent me about playing spin. Changed my game!” he wrote.
Close
Australia's captain Tim Paine speaks to India's Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari after a draw on day 5 of the third cricket test match between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia(REUTERS)
Australia's captain Tim Paine speaks to India's Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari after a draw on day 5 of the third cricket test match between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia(REUTERS)

When Australian players were inside, we were not allowed to use the lift: Ashwin

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:54 PM IST
India off-spinner R Ashwin in his YouTube conversation with fielding coach R Sridhar added another chapter to off the field incidents in Australia by revealing that Indian cricketers were not allowed to enter the lift in Sydney if any member of the Australian squad was already inside it.
Close
Rishabh Pant (centre) and Shubman Gill celebrate moments after India’s victory.(HT_PRINT)
Rishabh Pant (centre) and Shubman Gill celebrate moments after India’s victory.(HT_PRINT)

Want to be best keeper-batsman: Raina recalls Pant's words at training

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 03:25 PM IST
India vs Australia: Rishabh Pant was hailed as the hero of India's win at Gabba after scoring an unbeaten 89.
Close
Ajinkya Rahane talks about Kuldeep Yadav and Kartik Tyagi in the dressing room(Screengrab/BCCI)
Ajinkya Rahane talks about Kuldeep Yadav and Kartik Tyagi in the dressing room(Screengrab/BCCI)

BCCI shares Rahane's emotional dressing room speech for Kuldeep and Tyagi

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 10:08 PM IST
India captain Ajinkya Rahane, who led India in three Tests after regular captain Virat Kohli went on paternity leave after the series opener in Adelaide, had special messages for both Kuldeep Yadav and Kartik Tyagi after India’s historic win in Brisbane.
Close
England's James Anderson(Twitter)
England's James Anderson(Twitter)

Anderson hits Sri Lanka for six as Root anchors England reply

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 06:10 PM IST
Joe Root scored a breezy, unbeaten 67 and will resume on the third morning with Jonny Bairstow, who has 24. The pair have put on 93 for the third wicket at a rate of more than four runs per over to dig the tourists out of some early strife.
Close
Hardik Pandya with father Himanshu Pandya.(Twitter/Hardik Pandya)
Hardik Pandya with father Himanshu Pandya.(Twitter/Hardik Pandya)

Hardik Pandya pays tribute to late father with an emotional video

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 05:12 PM IST
Hardik Pandya posted a video on Twitter for his 'Dad' expressing the pang in his heart. The video happens to be the collage of all the loving memories of Hardik and his father, right from the all-rounder's childhood to the time when he gifted a car to his dad.
Close
England's James Anderson (REUTERS)
England's James Anderson (REUTERS)

England's James Anderson breaks records with 30th five-wicket haul

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 04:04 PM IST
James Anderson also became the oldest quick to take a five-for in the sub-continent, surpassing New Zealand great Richard Hadlee who achieved the feat at 37 years of age.
Close
Pakistan's Azhar Ali.(REUTERS)
Pakistan's Azhar Ali.(REUTERS)

Azhar tells Pakistan youngsters to overcome fear of failure

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 02:46 PM IST
Smarting from their 2-0 whitewash in New Zealand, Pakistan have included nine uncapped players in their 20-member squad for the matches in Karachi and Rawalpindi.
Close
Not out batsman India's Ravichandran Ashwin, right, and Hanuma Vihari walk from the field.(AP)
Not out batsman India's Ravichandran Ashwin, right, and Hanuma Vihari walk from the field.(AP)

'They made a mistake': Ashwin questions Australia's tactics in Sydney Test

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:17 PM IST
India vs Australia: Speaking in a video on Youtube, Ashwin revealed what went down in the middle and questioned Australia's tactics on the day.
Close
India's Navdeep Saini, right, reacts after injuring his leg.(AP)
India's Navdeep Saini, right, reacts after injuring his leg.(AP)

'I was in pain': How Navdeep Saini bowled despite injury at Gabba

By hindustantimes.com | PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 12:43 PM IST
Ajinkya 'bhaiya' asked me if I could bowl with injury, I had to say yes: Navdeep Saini
Close
File image of Gautam Gambhir who led KKR to two IPL titles.(Getty Images)
File image of Gautam Gambhir who led KKR to two IPL titles.(Getty Images)

'He should be allowed to go elsewhere': Gambhir 'surprised' KKR retained spinner

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 12:23 PM IST
Speaking on Star Sports, Gambhir said that KKR should have allowed Kuldeep to go elsewhere in case he is not in their plans for the future.
Close
Indian players pose with the winning trophy.(PTI)
Indian players pose with the winning trophy.(PTI)

India count embarrassment of pace riches from Australia tour

Reuters
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 01:42 PM IST
India had their entire frontline attack wiped out before the Brisbane decider, but the injury-ravaged tourists still pulled off an epic 2-1 series victory in Australia after a lion-hearted effort by their replacement bowlers.
Close
Indian skipper Virat Kohli.(PTI)
Indian skipper Virat Kohli.(PTI)

Hogg warns against removing Kohli as captain, says it might affect his batting

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 01:49 PM IST
  • There has been a clamour to remove Virat Kohli as the captain of the Indian cricket team. Even though he is the most successful captain in India’s Test cricket history, some fans have sought to change his leadership role.
Close
Greg Chappell.(Reuters)
Greg Chappell.(Reuters)

'Our young cricketers are weekend warriors compared to their Indian compatriots'

By hindustantimes.com | PTI
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 01:49 PM IST
In the last Test in Brisbane, India were playing a highly inexperienced bowling attack with T Natarajan, Washington Sundar making their debuts while Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini played their first match in Sydney and Shardul Thakur had only played a single Test match before Brisbane.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP