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India vs England: Jasprit Bumrah back with a bang after thumb fracture

He bowled a marathon 26 overs on Day 4, including nine in the morning and 11 in the extended, final session.

cricket Updated: Aug 22, 2018 07:17 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Nottingham
jasprit bumrah,england,india
Cricket - England v India - Third Test - Trent Bridge, Nottingham, Britain - August 21, 2018 India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrates a wicket (REUTERS)

Jasprit Bumrah’s unique action and yorkers make him a T20 darling, but he again proved in the Trent Bridge Test on Tuesday why skipper Virat Kohli swears by his abilities in the longest format.

Kohli picked Bumrah over Umesh Yadav in the January series in South Africa and he bagged 14 wickets, seven in the final Test win at Wanderers. The pacer though was left frustrated for nearly two months on the England tour after suffering a thumb fracture in the tour opener versus Ireland on June 22.

He returned with a bang in the third Test with a four-wicket haul with the second new ball late on Day 4 to end England’s resistance and all but seal victory. It included a three-wicket blitz in eight deliveries that left England at 311/9 and India needing one wicket.

“It doesn’t matter if we win in four days or five. As far as we win, it is fine,” he told reporters.

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He outsmarted England skipper Joe Root (13) and then broke a 169-run stand spanning 57.2 overs between his Mumbai Indians teammate Jos Buttler (106) and Ben Stokes (62), trapping the former leg before. He bowled a marathon 26 overs on Day 4, including nine in the morning and 11 in the extended, final session.

“When I made my first-class debut, my first spell was of 10 overs,” he said, after taking 5/85 for a match haul of seven. “I was always used to bowling lots of overs in Ranji Trophy. When I was injured I was working on my fitness. I was always in touch with our trainers -- whenever I come I should be in a good space.”

Ahead of the England tour, Kohli gave Bumrah’s example while endorsing the yo-yo fitness test. “That (focus on fitness) showed in the mindset of someone like Jasprit, who was bowling 144 kph in his last spell of the third Test (Johannesburg). That is where someone’s fitness comes in. When you have people that are hungry, that are fit, that are ready, you are not only competing, but are winning.”

Before this Test, Kohli said why he backed Bumrah over Umesh Yadav. “He’s an attacking bowler who bowls good lines and lengths. He’s very consistent in hitting the areas required at Test level. He showed that in South Africa and he’s one guy who’s really aggressive in mind. He wants to take the situation front on and basically make the batsmen feel uncomfortable.”

Bumrah, 24, is clear about his T20 and Test plans, belying the fact that he is only in his fourth Test.

“In white-ball cricket things are different — over there you outsmart the batsman; in Test cricket, it’s all about patience and consistency. That was my main focus today. You can’t blast the batsmen out. I was looking to always challenge the batsmen with good lengths and good line. In the end it was a good day. I got the edge.”

Despite the Buttler-Stokes stand, the bowlers didn’t waver from plans. Bumrah said his own focus was to be ready when he got back. “Match feel is always different. Try to get into the groove pretty quickly and that was my basic aim.”

He broke through with the second new ball, trapping Buttler leg before as he tried to shoulder arms. The England batsman himself had got into the Test side due to his IPL performances.

“We’ve played together for MI in IPL, so I’ve bowled a little bit to him in the nets, but not a lot. It’s always an interesting competition because he’s an attacking player. He’s an important player for their team as well. If he gets a good start, he keeps on going and it could create problems. I’ve got him out 2-3 times in IPL and in the nets as well. I was just focusing on that… I have a clear plan, a clear head.

“Nothing is easy… The hard work we do away from the camera is what bears results on days like these.”

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 07:00 IST