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Jasprit Bumrah brings short format smartness to 50-over cricket against Sri Lanka

Jasprit Bumrah provided another sterling example of his bowling skills on Sunday, bringing Sri Lankan batsmen to their knees by capturing his maiden five-wicket haul in One-day Internationals.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 27, 2017 23:20 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Pallekele
India vs Sri Lanka,Jasprit Bumrah,Indian cricket team
India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with his teammate Axar Patel during the third ODI match against Sri Lanka.(REUTERS)

Twenty20 cricket may be the best advertisement for batsmen, but it also motivates bowlers to constantly rediscover themselves, helping them learn new skills and use them in other formats.

Jasprit Bumrah provided another sterling example of that on Sunday, bringing Sri Lankan batsmen to their knees by capturing his maiden five-wicket haul in One-day Internationals. (IND vs SL BLOG)

The 23-year-old, with a robust but unorthodox action, backs his ability to deliver the yorker and clever slower deliveries to confound batsmen in the shortest format. And that has served India well in ODIs since his debut against Australia in Sydney in January, 2016.

The Gujarat bowler had claimed two wickets in the opening game in Dambulla and then 4/43 in the second ODI at Pallekele on Thursday.

His 5/27 on Sunday tied Sri Lanka down to another measly total.

READ | Jasprit Bumrah claims maiden five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in Pallekele ODI

The hosts seemed more determined to produce a decent total as they fought to keep the series alive. But Bumrah once again showed he is the go-to man at the start and finish.

He beat opening batsman Niroshan Dickwella with the full delivery. Dickwella was twice struck on the pad playing from the crease. The ball pitched a shade outside leg the first time, but not the second time as the review showed.

Bumrah also caught batsmen off-guard with subtle variation in his high-arm action, and Kusal Mendis was beaten for pace, misjudging the line outside off-stump to be caught in the cordon.

His opening spell of 5-2-9-2 helped India check Sri Lanka on a good pitch.

With Lahiru Thirimanne threatening to cut loose later, Virat Kohli turned to Bumrah again, and he delivered a perfect slower ball which the batsman chipped straight to midwicket.

The Indian skipper wants his ODI bowlers to look for wickets and Bumrah has set an example. The pacer has gone wicketless only in four of the 19 ODIs he has played. Interestingly, three of those wicketless games were against Asian rivals during his subdued show at the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June.

Bumrah didn’t take a wicket against Pakistan, both in the league stage and in the final which India lost. He also did not strike in the defeat against Sri Lanka in the tournament. Bumrah also went for runs in the high-scoring home series against England, averaging 45.6 in the three matches.

However, he proved effective during the third ODI. His straight deliveries bowled at pace got rid of lower-order batsmen, Milinda Siriwardana and Akila Dananjaya.

READ | Australia’s travails against spin continue after Bangladesh manage 260

All-rounder Hardik Pandya, another product of the T20 and Indian Premier League, also backed his skills. He delivered two slow bouncers, delivered off cross-seam, to Dinesh Chandimal who was hurt by them.

With Bhuvneshwar sharing the new ball and spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel too being consistent, the T20 spirit is overwhelming in India’s early build-up towards the 2019 World Cup.

First Published: Aug 27, 2017 20:09 IST