Birmingham, 3 July, 2019: Jasprit Bumrah is a premier practitioner of lethal yorkers but he considers his mastery in the art form to be just about “decent” and that too after hours of intense net practice.
Bumrah’s toe-crushers had already sent his injured teammate Vijay Shankar back home and on Tuesday, he confirmed Bangladesh’s return ticket from World Cup with back-to-back toe-crushers.
“I do it again and again and again in the nets. So the more you do it, you get decent at it. You can’t master it,” said a modest Bumrah when asked how he has again made the block-hole delivery fashionable at the death.
“You are still trying to get better at it, yeah. It’s all about repetition. It’s like any other ball.”
Being boring is the new normal for Bumrah in his pursuit of excellence. The net is Bumrah’s laboratory, where he does match simulation, and ask poor Shankar who became a casualty while the premiere fast bowler perfected the yorker.
But he finds it important as those productive hours at the nets are his best ally when Bumrah needs that perfect execution in tricky match situations.
“Whenever I practice in the nets, I practice each and every situation, be it with the new ball, be it with the old ball, bowling at the death,” said the soft-spoken sardar from Ahmedabad.
“So if I have ticked all of the boxes in the net, it’s then all about execution (in the match) and keeping a clear head. If the work ethic is good, I think the execution feels much easier in the game,” he assessed.
So is there any batsman who has got a measure of his yorker?
“I’ve not really given it a thought. I just focus on the team goal whenever I’m bowling,” he replied.
“I’m not thinking who’s playing me well. I just focus on how I can contribute to the team,” Bumrah added.
Just like Virat Kohli the batsman, who loves to be in his bubble, it is no different for Bumrah, where process is paramount however cliched it might sound.
Fans of Indian cricket always want Bumrah to be wrapped in cotton wool as he is precious but the cricketer himself doesn’t want that.
Asked if he would like to be rested against Sri Lanka now that India have qualified for the semi-finals of the World Cup, the answer was an emphatic no.
“This is my first World Cup, so I want to play as many games as possible. I don’t think I’ve become an experienced player that I could say I don’t want to play some games,” said Bumrah, who despite being indispensable in this current India set-up, doesn’t take things for granted.
“Yeah, I always look forward to playing, and the more number of matches you play, you enjoy more,” he insisted, gaving enough indications that given a choice, he won’t like to rest against Sri Lanka in the last league game at Leeds.
Bumrah has traversed quite a distance from that widely criticised no-ball to Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman in the 2017 Champions Trophy final but in his core, he remains the simple person.
“I think I’m still the same person, maybe two years older. I always want to keep learning. I want to keep evolving. That has always been my game.