Ahead Of The Third Test, England Will Have To Find A Way To Tackle Jasprit Bumrah
In the most recent Second Test of the ongoing India versus England series, Ben Stokes’s visiting English side faced a particular challenge. And it was no easy ask; but a stiff one. There stood in front of them a man aloft akin to a tower utterly unyielding and in no mood to bend whatsoever. It was thanks to his brilliant exploits with the red ball that the game that could well have lasted for its full quota of five days, wrapped up on the fourth itself. Jasprit Bumrah emerged England’s wrecker-in-chief.
And he was in an utterly no nonsense mood.
Taking no fewer than six of England’s ten first inning wickets in addition to three in their last inning, it was Jasprit Bumrah who first broke the back of the middle and the lower middle order of England and then, as seen later, tormented their tail.
You are some bowler if you take 9 of your opponent’s 20 Test match wickets. You are in another league when you nearly take half the side’s wickets on your own and in a fashion that both fans and critics would describe as devastating.
In the very series where a certain Ollie Pope came desperately close towards cracking a brilliant Test double ton, becoming in the process of his First Test heroics, the one to watch out for, Bumrah, it appeared, viewed the situation differently.
It seemed that Jasprit Bumrah had different plans of his own
Just when one of England’s most capable batsman would have liked to dominate, a lad attractive to watch given the way he goes about constructing his innings, in came Jasprit Bumrah prepared to blow a different kind of smoke with the red ball.
Truth be told, Bumrah’s success and with it, India’s major sigh of relief in getting Ollie Pope out early wasn’t the actual thing that made that dismissal a big one.
The manner in which the in-swinging yorker castled the best batsmen in their ranks (given current form) made the uprooting of stumps a love affair and Jasprit Bumrah England’s confirmed wrecker-in-chief.
Truth be told, it is not always that a bowler’s effort makes for a priceless souvenir, a picture perfect moment that is cherished for times to come. This, it ought to be remembered, is celebrated as a batsman’s game.
But the fashion in which Jasprit Bumrah approached the stumps, rushing into Pope who by then had seemed well set (having faced 54 deliveries unto that point), akin to a truck that veers into a tree, was truly a sight to behold.
The three stumps uprooted and not long after that, getting the danger man Ben Stokes out with another peach of a delivery shifted the Vizag Test from being a batsman’s den into a bowler’s paradise.
What many will talk and for quite some time, will be the Pope dismissal thanks to Bumrah’s virtually unplayable yorker, but what also deserves to be remembered is that it was India’s current ace of pace who had got Joe Root out.
You know you are faring well already when you remove a batsman of Joe Root’s substance and skill for a paltry 5.
Rather incredibly, Jasprit Bumrah’s show continued even in the second innings where he removed Hartley and Foakes and previously in that very inning, Bairstow.
So dominant has been his control over line and length that he just hasn’t allowed a batsman of Bairstow’s might and capability to have some say; Johnny was removed in both innings by the ballsy Bumrah.
But is that all about Jasprit Bumrah?
Amid the wild scenes at Vizag, where India made lightwork of England in the series, one ought to remember that Jasprit Bumrah was at it even at opening game at Hyderabad, which his team went on to lose and rather sadly.
While the big runs never came from his fellow teammates’ bats, Bumrah kept up the good work with impenetrable seam bowling.
It doesn’t deserve to be forgotten that thanks to his inspiring sense of consistency, the man celebrated as “Boom Boom Bumrah” had clinched six wickets in that game, including a four-for in England’s second inning.
Surely, while Ashwin, the record breaking legend, is going great guns and there’s Jadeja and Axar doing their fiery bit, England cannot afford to take Japrit Bumrah, the biggest thorn in their path any lightly. Else, they’ll bleed. But the key question now also is whether Stokes and Root can deliver something to salvage the series that currently stands on the knife’s edge?