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Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar - Virat Kohli’s pace twins in Champions Trophy

Jasprit Bumrah was given the freedom to express himself during the India vs South Africa Champions Trophy match and how well he capitalised that opportunity. Bhuvneshwar Kumar brought his English experience into play at The Oval.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 12, 2017 00:16 IST
Soumitra Bose
Soumitra Bose
Hindustan Times, London
Champions Trophy 2017,Jasprit Bumrah,India vs South Africa
India's Virat Kohli (L) and Jasprit Bumrah during their ICC Champions Trophy match against South Africa.(REUTERS)

Every generation produces its bowling twins and if Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are shaping up to becoming one, don’t be surprised. (HIGHLIGHTS)

Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar played stellar roles as India steamrolled South Africa en route to the ICC Champions Trophy semifinals at The Oval on Sunday. (SCORECARD)

Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar shared four wickets between them as South African batting imploded due to a combination of poor strokes and error in judgement.

Bumrah stepped up as a new ball bowler admirably after India opted for off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in place of pacer Umesh Yadav against the South Africans.

READ | India punish wasteful South Africa, storm into ICC Champions Trophy semis

India’s pace twins came to the party by not taking early wickets but bowling the dot balls that put the pressure back on the South African top order.

Bumrah, known for his death bowling skills, was particularly impressive. He kept probing the off-stump line and never gave room for the well set Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock to score freely.

As Bumrah (2/28) gathers confidence in his abilities, he refuses to be classified as a “death bowler” specialist.

“I just want to be a good fast bowler and do the job (expected of me). It felt great when the captain had the confidence to give me the new ball and I could show what I am capable of,” Bumrah said.

Skipper Virat Kohli said he had given Bumrah the freedom to do whatever he wanted today.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar prepares to bowl during the ICC Champions Trophy match between India and South Africa. (AP)

“Bowl Yorkers, bowl bouncers, just go and express yourself,” said Kohli as he explained how he boosted Bumrah’s confidence.

Bumrah admitted the help he has been getting from senior players like coach Anil Kumble and MS Dhoni.

“It’s my first trip in England and the wickets are the white ball has not been swinging much. But we have to adjust and contain the runs instead of getting the wickets,” said Bumrah.

While it’s been a learning curve for the Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is using his intelligence to make an impact.

READ | Virat Kohli won’t rest on past laurels going into ICC Champions Trophy semis

In scenarios where the wickets are harder and the white ball tends to be benign in terms of lateral movement, Bhuvneshwar is banking on his ability to change the length of deliveries so that runs can be contained.

“The idea of taking wickets in the first 10 overs is changing. It’s all about checking the runs and then going for the kill later. That’s what we did against the South Africans,” Kumar said.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was on a hattrick on Sunday. Imran Tahir somehow managed to stop that after Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel fell off successive deliveries – balls that left the batsman with both pace and bounce.

Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar should be back together again as India face Bangladesh in the second ICC Champions Trophy semifinal in Birmingham on June 15. They will look forward to another good day at office.

First Published: Jun 11, 2017 22:14 IST