T20 World Cup 2024: Bowling coach doesn't have to give 'too many inputs' to in-form Bumrah, says Axar Patel

Bumrah has been more than a revelation at this T20 World Cup, picking up eight wickets from four games at an astonishing economy of 3.46, a strike rate of 11.2 and an average of 6.50.
Last Updated : 21 June 2024, 05:13 IST

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Barbados: Indian left-arm spinner Axar Patel has revealed that India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey has stopped giving inputs to Jasprit Bumrah because it doesn’t seem like he needs any such intervention at this moment. 

Bumrah has been more than a revelation at this T20 World Cup, picking up eight wickets from four games at an astonishing economy of 3.46, a strike rate of 11.2 and an average of 6.50. The fact that Bumrah is one of the greatest all-format bowlers India has produced is not in question anymore, and this World Cup only reiterates that.

“I don't think anyone talks much about Bumrah's bowling,” said Axar Patel during India’s post-match press conference. “He has an idea of what to do and what not to do. So, when it is going so well, I don't think the bowling coach is giving too much inputs to him so as not to confuse him. He just says, 'you are doing well, whatever you are choosing to do is also going well'. So, I think, as much as I have seen, the bowling coach doesn't interfere much. The bowling coach reiterates to Bumrah, 'Whatever your mindset is during planning, it is clear; so just execute your plans'", he added.

India's pacer Arshdeep Singh also spoke about how he manages his mindset as he follows up someone like Bumrah - who almost entirely dictates the tempo of the game in the split four-over spell that he typically bowls.

“See, obviously, Bumrah is a world-class bowler, and you know that with the quality of bowlers we have in our side - we can get out of a tough situation. So, at that time you have to think about what you have, what is your strength, what are your weaknesses. So don't think much about what the other bowler did", Singh said.

“I was just thinking what will work for me on this wicket. Like, after 1 or 2 balls, I realised that if I vary the pace and length, it will work better on this wicket. That’s what I was doing. I was not thinking that he has bowled so well from the other end, I will have to do this and that. If I think that way, I am putting more pressure on myself. I was thinking about how I could give my best in this situation. That was my plan and I was bowling with that thinking."

Axar Patel is one of four left-arm bowlers in the Indian team - the others being Arshdeep Singh, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.

“My thought process is, as a left-arm spinner, I know what my role is. I can bowl in the Power Play, middle or towards the end, in the 16th or 15th over. I know my role well. I can be called by the captain in any situation. I plan to know what the team needs at that time. If I feel that I need to attack at this time, I need to take wickets, then I plan in that way what I can do. And if I feel that, like in Pakistan, when I came to bowl the 16th over, I felt that if I give less runs in this over, it will be very good for the team,” Patel said.

“So, basically according to the situation, I plan my bowling and as you said there are three left-arm spinners - so obviously, that suggests there is an advantage for us here in this pitch. There are three left-arm spinners out of which we have two finger spinners and one wrist spinner. I have played with all of them. I think the combination of the three of us is very good. We have a good team. We communicate well. Whoever comes to bowl first, we communicate what is working and what is not. I think that is very important when you bowl as a unit.”

While Axar is playing his role just fine in this World Cup, this isn’t exactly his claim to fame. For that, in his own words, one will need to see how he tackles the anomaly that is Suryakumar Yadav at the nets, and in the Indian Premier League. 

Speaking of his duels against Suryakumar, he said, “See, in T20 it is very important for you to be ahead of your opponent. How you think ahead of the batsman, and what you plan is very important. If the batsman is thinking of hitting you - and you have obviously watched his videos - so you get an idea of where he can hit you for runs and where he can hit you, even on areas of your strength. So, I cover all those bases and according to that, I put the ball. And I predict whether he will try to hit a sweep shot or do something else."

"So, I mix up my line and length. For the sweep shot (a shot Surya is fond of), you need a length ball. If you don't have that ball, I try to put a fuller one so that he is uncomfortable. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Obviously, the batsman also comes prepared - he too studies the bowlers. So yeah, that's the plan I have, whenever I bowl. If I bowl to a good batsman, then this is my plan."

Published 21 June 2024, 05:13 IST

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