World Cup 2019: Jasprit Bumrah just wants to bowl well
World No. 1 pacer Jasprit Bumrah, one of the stars in India's win over South Africa at Southampton, refuses to get carried away by accolades
World No. 1, street-smart, complete package, world's most feared. Accolades like these can cause athletes to get carried away. But not Jasprit Bumrah. Billed as one of the top bowlers to watch out for in the World Cup, the lanky pacer made an impactful debut in the tournament during India's opening clash of the tournament against South Africa on Wednesday here at the Ageas Bowl.
Bumrah was instrumental in restricting South Africa to 227-9 by claiming the wickets of Hashim Amla (6) and Quinton de Kock (10) in his first five overs. His first spell of 5-0-13-2 was enough to rattle the already under-pressure South African batsmen. He eventually finished with 2-35.
"Most of the time, I don't think about expectations. I just think about what the team requires me to do right now. I don't think I have a reputation to live up to and I have to do all of these things. I just try to keep things simple, focus on the processes. If you tick all of the boxes, everything else will fall in place," said Bumrah with a smile. Bumrah made the Proteas batsmen hop, skip and jump as he fully exploited the conditions to put the opponents under intense pressure. It spoke volumes of Bumrah's ability when he managed to get both Amla and De Kock caught at second and third slip, a rarity in one-day internationals.
It also left skipper Virat Kohli surprised. "To be honest, I haven't seen Hashim get out like that in one-day cricket. He's been so dominant. He might play shots and get out, but to get guys out like that, rushing them a bit… I think it's a great thing and it's testimony to his hard work," said Kohli.
Bumrah's biggest test on Wednesday was to be patient in helpful conditions. "When on a wicket like this you get help — there was a little bit of seam movement — then you sometimes can be tempted to try too many things. At that time, you must realise that you don't need to do too many things, just bowl like in a Test match and be patient when you are getting help," he said.
Kohli also provided an insight into Bumrah's attitude. "One thing you know while facing Jasprit is you have to play good cricketing shots against him and you have to back your technique. If you are hesitant a little bit, he senses that and he's all over you," said Kohli.
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