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T20 World Cup 2024: Of Bumrah's simplicity and Rizwan's brazenness

Bumrah’s dismissal of Mohammad Rizwan, rather Rizwan’s irresponsible shot which gave Bumrah the wicket, was the moment that altered the course of the India-Pakistan clash at the Nassau County International stadium on Sunday.
Last Updated : 10 June 2024, 16:10 IST
Last Updated : 10 June 2024, 16:10 IST

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New York: Jasprit Bumrah wouldn’t accept it. Axar Patel would somewhat dilute it. Gary Kirsten wouldn’t quite refer to it. 

But it was there for everyone to see, experience, delight in and cry about. One moment to bring a stadium to its toes and some of its guests to their knees. 

Bumrah’s dismissal of Mohammad Rizwan, rather Rizwan’s irresponsible shot which gave Bumrah the wicket, was the moment that altered the course of the India-Pakistan clash at the Nassau County International stadium on Sunday. Yes, that’s the one.  

Of course, one could dissect the match further and allude to other moments of retrospective significance, but frankly, all of them would pale in comparison to the first ball of Bumrah’s 15th over. 

After three good overs from Arshdeep Singh, Hardik Pandya and Arshdeep again, India had managed to keep Pakistan in their line of vision. Pakistan were 80 for 3 and in need of 40 runs from 36 balls. 

Rizwan was on 31 from 43 balls, a knock which included one four, a six, sixteen singles, one double and a three. The man with exactly a hundred Twenty20 Internationals under his belt was banking on experience and coming away looking good. 

Then, this happened. 

Bumrah was brought back on. He ambled in as usual. Rizwan got into his customary crouch. 

A dab to third man? A dead bat towards cover? A shuffle across for a dink towards midwicket? No!

Rizwan decides to take on the one bowler everyone in world cricket looks to play out. 

The right-hander’s right foot is now edging the off stump. The big toe of his left boot is pointed towards mid-off. Decent enough position for a classic drive. But Rizwan reckons he has been at the crease long enough to try something adventurous, brazen. 

He plays across the line, intending to smear the ball towards midwicket. The ball may have stayed a smidge low, but that was not what got Rizwan out. 

Rizwan let his ego come in the way of excellence. He thought he’d get a big bite out of the biggest dog in and yard. Instead, as his head continued to search the horizon over midwicket, he heard the crack of timber behind him. 

It was followed by an exulting Bumrah which was followed by cries of a jubilant Indian team which was followed by the collective chest-thumping of a billion people. 

Rizwan’s brain fade was about as inexplicable as it was ugly. Bumrah’s simplicity was beautiful.

The paceman had bowled significantly better deliveries in the eight overs he has bowled this tournament so far, and yet, none of them had this impact, none of them he has celebrated for quite like this. 

It was because Bumrah didn’t let his ego come in the way of doing what needed to be done: wicket-to-wicket stuff when the going gets edgy. 

“I tried not to do that (bowl with desperation for a wicket) but when we came, the swing and seam had reduced. So, we had to be accurate because if we go for magic deliveries and try to be too desperate, run-making becomes easy and they know the target. So, we had to be very mindful of not overdoing it but continue to build pressure, use the big boundaries, and try to use things to our advantage. That is what we were doing. So, in that, we created pressure and everybody got wickets.”

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Published 10 June 2024, 16:10 IST

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