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T20 World Cup 2024: Bowling to the best of my ability, says Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah bowled India to a six-run win while defending a modest total of 119 against Pakistan in New York.
Last Updated : 10 June 2024, 16:16 IST
Last Updated : 10 June 2024, 16:16 IST

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New York: The tenor of Jasprit Bumrah’s press conference was crisp, about as precise and to the point as his bowling, but in all this coherence it’s easy to ignore that he tends to contradict himself from time to time. 

Besides, it’s hard to get past the fact that he speaks at a press conference as if offering morals to a room full of distracted kindergarten kids. 

Bumrah was none of that on the field, and that’s all India care about. On the back of his second player-of-the-match performance, India posted a six-run win over Pakistan on Sunday. 

It - a spell of 4-0-14-3 - was quite possibly his finest piece of work in white-ball cricket in the last year or so. 

Of course, you could argue that he was far more economical in his previous game, and all the games preceding that for the Mumbai Indians and India were special, but this... this was otherworldly. 

He didn’t have a pitch he could rely on fully. His team had its back against the wall. Mohammad Rizwan was set. The Indian section of the crowd had gone quiet. The stakes were high, it's India versus Pakistan after all. And yet, nearly everyone at the venue knew that he would come through. He knew it too. 

“Yeah, see a year ago, the same people were saying that I might not play again and my career is over and then now the question changed,” he responded, attempting to be cheeky, when asked about his season since the back injury. 

“For me, I am bowling to the best of my ability. I try to solve the problem that is there in front of me. I was trying to focus on what is the best option over here on a wicket like this. How do I make shot-making difficult? What are the best options for me? So that way, I try to stay in the present and focus on what I have to do. 

“Because if I look at the outside noise, if I look at people and pressure and emotion takes over, then things don't work for me. So, I was trying to do that, trying to create my bubble, and trying to focus on that and try to put my best foot forward,” he added. 

As evidenced in the quote, Bumrah doesn’t have the best of bubbles, but that’s beside the point. Going back to the game itself, the pacer opened up about the conversation Rohit Sharma had with the team before they got on with their unenviable job of defending 120. 

“Yeah, very clear,” he said about Rohit’s briefing. “We were a little disappointed with the total that we had put up because we wanted to add more runs and that was not the plan. We left one over as well. So, once we started, we were very clear the message in the huddle was that now that is over, now what is next? What are the things that are in our control? 

“So, we will try to focus on that and not to create panic because yes, there will be boundaries here and there. People might play good shots, but we'll have to try and be composed and try to hold our shape. So that was the biggest positive, not at any stage did I feel that the panic had spread in the team and we were looking too far ahead. So that's a positive sign for us.”

Speaking of positives, Bumrah was also delighted that, finally, bowlers have something to work with and the game is tilting in their favour at this T20 World Cup. 

"I always advocate bowlers, but we're very happy that the appreciation that bowlers have received because our country is a batsman-loving country and we understand but we are very happy that bowlers are coming up front,” he said. 

“The IPL that we played was not very bowler-friendly but we are very happy that we didn't come here with that baggage and when we were getting help here, we were trying to use it. I played a lot of cricket in my young years when the bat and ball challenge was good, it was more interesting to watch the match. When it's bat vs bat, I switch off the TV. I have been a fan of bowling since childhood. When there is a challenge between bat and ball, that is the game I like. No complaints. I am very happy.”

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Published 10 June 2024, 16:16 IST

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