Bumrah makes immediate impact
Until Thursday night, Jasprit Bumrah was an unknown entity, having played a handful of Twenty20 matches for his State Gujarat.
The right-arm paceman had been signed up by the Mumbai Indians only a few days before the start of the IPL-6, and understandably there was an element of suspense around the 19-year-old. When he was carted around for three fours by the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli off his first four IPL balls, temptation was high to write off the youngster. Having received his debut cap from Sachin Tendulkar, Bumrah appeared a bundle of nerves in front of a screaming capacity crowd.
Bowling from wide off the crease with an awkward action, where his right-arm arcs into the batsman, he trapped Kohli leg before with the one that sharply moved in in the same over. The Ahmedabad-born player scalped two more wickets to return figures of 3/32, making an immediate impact.
“He was only signed probably four or five days ago actually,” pointed out Mumbai Indians’ skipper Ricky Ponting after his team suffered a two-run loss to the home side. “We signed a couple of young guys just before the first game, Jasprit being one of them. As you saw today, he’s unusual. He’s got a different type of action, he’s got a short run-up and bowls at a pretty lively pace and creates different angles. He bowls from wide off the crease and swings the ball in. We just thought that he could be a real wicket-taking option for us in these conditions, so we gave him an opportunity today. He was probably a bit nervous in his first over, but got wickets when we needed them,” he explained.
Kohli admitted that Bumrah was a bit unusual. “Bumrah is a very unusual kind of a bowler,” he noted in his post-match comments. “New kid, so not many have seen him… he did pretty well for his first game. It was important to put him under pressure, but when I got out, he sort of got through those overs because the wicket was doing quite a bit. He bowled in good areas and could be a very exciting prospect.”