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India vs England: Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami rewarded for adding planning to pace

India’s pace pack has won high praise on this tour of England, but their remarkable early show at Southampton on Day 1 of the fourth Test was down to work done away from the cameras.

cricket Updated: Aug 31, 2018 09:50 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Southampton
India vs England,Jasprit Bumrah,Ishant Sharma
India's Jasprit Bumrah (C) celebrates after bowling out England's Keaton Jennings (R) during the first day of the fourth Test cricket match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, southwest England on August 30, 2018. (AFP)

It was bolt from the blue, a delivery few had even thought Jasprit Bumrah would attempt. The pace bowler, with an absolutely straight arm action, consistently got the ball to come into the right-hander at speeds in the high 80s (mph). (4TH TEST DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS)

England opener Keaton Jennings, with few runs in the series after being recalled into the side, was thus waiting for another delivery to be angled across the left-hander but was left dumbfounded as one pitched and came in late to rap him plumb in front for a duck. (DAY 1 REPORT)

It was the first ball of Bumrah’s second over of the morning, and it showed how much work India’s pace quartet had put in going into the fourth Test at Ageas Bowl.

India’s pace pack has won high praise on this tour, but their remarkable early show was down to work done “away from the cameras” as Bumrah had put it after taking a five-for in the third Test win at Trent Bridge.

Bumrah almost had England skipper Joe Root next. He had induced a nick off England’s best batsman with one pitched wider to be caught in the cordon at Nottingham.

This time a pitched up delivery slanted into him and caught him in front. But for India’s review revealing a front-foot no-ball, he was gone.

But he got Jonny Bairstow to nick one pitched on off-stump and seaming away just that bit. There was lot of help for pacers in the morning, but India’s pace quartet was ready to exploit the conditions with plans for each batsman.

Even experts were initially stunned by the delivery to Jennings. TV replays showed it was no fluke. Bumrah had got the seam pointing to leg slip to bring it back into the left-hander. His usual delivery was bowled with seam pointing to slip.

ALSO READ: Dream delivery? Jasprit Bumrah simply points to playing it smart

Former West Indies pace great, Michael Holding, explained how Bumrah’s hand finishes across the body when he bowls his away going delivery.

Ishant Sharma has got Alastair Cook thrice in this series, 11 times overall, showing mastery in his run-up, pace and swing, also smoothly switching to around the wicket. Alastair Cook survived this time, but he switched back to over-the-wicket and pitched it full to trap Root leg before.

And Mohammed Shami has made the old ball to move as well. It wasn’t just the bowlers. The field placements were spot on, especially cutting out Cook’s scoring areas to force him to edge a loose cut against Hardik Pandya. And the slip fielders also stood slightly up.

Virat Kohli has put a higher value on 20 wickets in a game over big individual and team scores. And India, despite England’s late resistance, looked on course again.

First Published: Aug 31, 2018 09:12 IST