One person whose journey has been nothing short of a fairytale, having started from nowhere to having made a place for himself amidst the world’s premier fast bowlers, is none other than Jasprit Bumrah. The 26-year-old has risen through the ranks at an incredible pace and has given the Indian team management immense flexibility, allowing them to rely on him in all three formats of the game.
The start of his journey, however, wasn’t a smooth sailing one as he lost his father when he was just seven years old. Raised by a single mother, who was a school principal, Jasprit Bumrah used to play a lot of tennis ball cricket during his growing up years and it’s from there that his love for the sport began. Being a 90s kid, Test cricket was always the format which piqued his interest. He used to watch the best bowlers around the world on the television and tried to emulate their actions at home. He started playing cricket pretty late and didn’t take the usual cricketer’s route to become a professional. He wasn’t coached early in his career and everything about his action was self-taught.
Starting off in Cricket
At the age of 19, he made his debut for the Gujarat Under-19 team and became an instant success, thanks to this accurate bowling and his unique action. A mature head on his shoulders and the willingness to improve every day are certain aspects that sets him apart from most men of this generation. He was spotted by John Wright, who was then a part of the Mumbai management team in the Indian T20 League, at a domestic T20 match. This was the real turning point in Jasprit Bumrah’s career. He made his Indian T20 League debut back in 2013 and his first wicket was a big one – Virat Kohli.
2014 was a game-changing year for him as he had an awesome Indian T20 League campaign and kept on improving under the guidance of Lasith Malinga as one of his mentors. Bumrah became a constant member of the India A team and was on the fringes of selection to the senior team before an unfortunate knee injury ruled him out for four and a half months at the end of 2014.
The best of Boom Boom
The best of Jasprit Bumrah was witnessed in the 2015-16 domestic season where he emerged as Gujarat’s second-highest wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy. He also topped the bowling charts in the Vijay Hazare tournament and helped Gujarat lift the trophy. He finished the tournament with 21 wickets from nine matches and one of his prized scalps was of former India captain, MS Dhoni, who later gambled on him in India’s tour of Australia. Mohammed Shami’s injury meant that Bumrah took the flight to Sydney and made his India debut in the final match of the ODI series.
He then went on to make his T20I debut in the same tour and emerged as the leading wicket-taker of the series as India whitewashed Australia 3-0. His stellar performances on the tour earned him praises from MS Dhoni who called him the ‘find of the tour.’ The same year in the Indian T20 League, he played all 14 games and managed to pick up 15 wickets in the campaign. It was also during this year that he became the highest wicket-taker in the T20 format in a calendar year.
2017 Champions Trophy
At a tender age of 23, Jasprit Bumrah witnessed both the ups and downs that sports can bring. Fresh from an Indian T20 League triumph with Mumbai where he had played a substantial role, much was expected of him in the Champions Trophy held in England as he was emerging as one of the best in the world. Though he didn’t pick up many wickets during the course of the tournament as opponents were content with playing his overs out cautiously, his economy remained top-notch.
However, in the all-important final against arch-rivals Pakistan, Bumrah, unfortunately, had overstepped in a particular delivery and found the edge of Fakhar Zaman’s bat in the same one. It gave Fakhar a new lease of life as the decision was overturned and post that began his onslaught. On a rare off-day, Bumrah went for 68 off his nine overs and India went on to lose the Champions Trophy final.
Test Debut in South Africa
Being a 90s kid, Jasprit Bumrah holds Test cricket as the pinnacle of the sport and it was always his dream to play for India in a Test match. His dream came true in 2018 as India toured South Africa. His first Test wicket was another priceless one – AB de Villiers, and soon after that, there was no stopping the Gujarat boy. Since then, Bumrah has played in 14 Tests and has managed to pick up 68 wickets at an extraordinary average of 20.33. He was also an integral part of the Test team which won India’s first-ever Test series on Australian soil.
His insane accuracy and his ability to deliver deadly yorkers in the death overs is what makes him currently the most valuable bowler in world cricket. He has a stuttering run-up to the crease and a high arm action but it’s the wrist which makes all the difference. He develops all his pace from there and now has the ability to swing the ball either way. He also posses a lethal bouncer which makes him a complete package. He is a nightmare to face for any batsman.
Post the 2019 Cricket World Cup, Jasprit Bumrah has had a serious back injury which has kept him out of the sport for some time. This is the first injury he has had since he made his India debut and his comeback against New Zealand seemed a little lacklustre. Now with the cricket world going on a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no doubt that Bumrah would try to defy all the odds and come back even stronger than before when the sport resumes.
VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT FOOTBALL NEWS STORIES & FEATURES