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Jasprit Bumrah: Mumbai Indians’ undisputed No 1 finisher in IPL 2017

After being handed the Super Over bowling responsibility by Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma instead of Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah showcased his death bowling expertise to overcome Gujarat Lions in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Saturday.

ipl 2017 Updated: May 11, 2017 20:13 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Rajkot
IPL 2017,Mumbai Indians,Jasprit Bumrah
Mumbai Indians cricketers congratulate Jasprit Bumrah (centre) as they celebrate the Super Over victory against Gujarat Lions in their Indian Premier League match in Rajkot on Saturday. (AFP)

Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga have been handling death bowling duties for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the last couple of seasons. But on Saturday, Bumrah laid the claim to be their undisputed No 1 finisher with a match-winning bowling effort in the Super Over against the Gujarat Lions. (Match highlights)

With Malinga struggling with his form, the responsibility of bowling the Super Over fell on the shoulders of Jasprit Bumrah and the 23-year-old didn’t disappoint. (Match scorecard)

In this edition of the IPL, Malinga’s pace has been down and he has been struggling to land those yorkers. Concerned with his abilities late in the match, skipper Rohit Sharma took the decision to bowl him in the middle overs, leaving the finishing duties to Bumrah and Nathan Mclenaghan. While Bumrah held his own again, McClenaghan went for few.

The Mumbai Indians player displayed his entire repertoire, bowling a combination of perfect yorkers and slower ones to keep two of the biggest hitters in the game -- Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch -- tied down. It was the seventh tied match of the IPL history and first involving Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Lions.

In the Super Over, chasing a target of 12, Gujarat Lions scored just six runs out of which only two runs were off the bat while rest came through a no-ball, leg-bye, wide and a bye.

Asked about what he was thinking while bowling the Super Over, Bumrah said:

“There was always pressure because they only needed 11 runs. I tried to keep a calm head, not to focus on the negative things. Was just focusing on the positives aspects, thinking about the plans we had made,” he said.

The right-handed speedster has 11 wickets from nine matches so far.

He added: “They (team management) just told me to back my skills and be confident. Think of it as just another over and don’t take extra pressure.”

Bumrah had also bowled a brilliant second-last over against Kings XI Punjab and overall finished with an economical spell while other around him, including Malinga, were hit around the park.

Bumrah has built up a reputation of being a very good death bowler and he said he mandatorily practices death bowling sessions to prepare himself.

“I don’t practice like Malinga (by keeping a shoe as target). I do practice with him on how and try to bowl yorkers consistently. But I always have a death bowling session whenever I practice. It is very important because this is the time (in death overs) when I bowl for Gujarat in domestic matches, for India and for Mumbai Indians,” he added.

First Published: Apr 30, 2017 10:11 IST