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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Jasprit Bumrah happy to link up with ‘helpful’ Ashish Nehra for Ranchi T20 vs AUS

Jasprit Bumrah, the Indian cricket team pace spearhead, says he doesn’t see much difference bowling in ODIs and T20 as his role is the same, ahead of the T20 series against Australia. Bumrah also said he’s happy to be guided by Ashish Nehra, who has made a comeback to the team.

india-vs-australia-2017 Updated: Oct 07, 2017 10:42 IST
Abhishek Paul
Abhishek Paul
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Jasprit Bumrah and Ashish Nehra are likely to share the new ball when Virat Kohli-led India take on Australia in a three-T20 series, starting October 7.
Jasprit Bumrah and Ashish Nehra are likely to share the new ball when Virat Kohli-led India take on Australia in a three-T20 series, starting October 7. (Reuters )

Jasprit Bumrah has become India’s premium fast bowler in the limited-overs formats in a short time. Despite the presence of more experienced pacers, it is Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who are preferred in the blue jersey. And they have met the expectations too.

With India set to play six ODIs and nine T20 Internationals this year, Bumrah will be expected to carry the lion’s share of the burden to maintain India’s winning momentum.

(Read | Can Axar Patel bat his way out of Ravindra Jadeja’s shadow in Indian cricket team?)

On the eve of India’s first T20I against Australia in Ranchi, the 23-year-old pacer acknowledged the responsibility that comes with playing for India, irrespective of formats. And he said it was up to the individuals to make use of the chances.

“When you are playing for India, you don’t need any kind of (extra) drive because you are very happy. Any format, you love representing your country. Whenever you are playing for India, you have a responsibility, you have to live up to it,” said Bumrah, who is currently the world No 2 bowler in T20Is.

(Read | Australian cricket’s ‘new group’ eager to revive team in T20Is vs India)

“One-day cricket and T20 cricket are slightly different, but in the situations where I bowl, it’s similar because of the death overs.”

Importance of fitness

Bumrah is part of an Indian cricket team that emphasises on fitness like never before. From captain Virat Kohli to coach Ravi Shastri to chief selector MSK Prasad, the Indian cricket team has put fitness above everything else.

In fact, two senior players Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina have reportedly not been able to make it to the national squad in recent times due to poor fitness.

(Read | Sunil Gavaskar slams Indian cricket selectors for Ajinkya Rahane’s T20 omission)

When asked if the pressure on a fast bowler is more to maintain fitness, Bumrah said: “Everybody requires fitness nowadays. It’s not only the fast bowlers. With the amount of cricket we are playing these days, everybody has to be fit.

It’s the responsibility of every individual to keep themselves fit, to look after the diet and training. The fast bowlers need to put in extra effort sometimes, but if you are not fit, you won’t be able to survive.”

Nehra’s influence

Ashish Nehra has again made a comeback to the Indian team at the age of 38 and Bumrah was happy to be guided by the senior left-arm pace bowler.

(Read | Believe it or not, Virender Sehwag says Ashish Nehra is ‘as fit as Virat Kohli’)

“He is a very experienced player. We played together at the World T20 as well. I enjoy playing with him. He is very helpful to youngsters like me,” he said.

Jasprit Bumrah said he often talks to his pace partner, even to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. “We just want to improve; we keep asking questions to each other, we also ask seniors how to improve our bowling, adapt to different wickets. We don’t focus on results much.”

Not complacent against Australia

Going into the first T20I, India are on a six-match winning run against Australia. Bumrah said they are not thinking about past records. “We only focus on our preparations. Every format requires a certain skill level and we are focusing on that.”