The smiling Tiger- Jasprit Bumrah

Just remain fit Jasprit bhai, many Indians would be declaring themselves unfit  to  get approval for their sick leave from 30 May to 14 July to watch you spearheading the Indian attack  and enjoy dissolving opposition batting in your H2SO4…..……Read on..

Opposition has three overs and needs 20 runs with Bumrah quota of two overs in balance, what would you vote for? A possible successful chase or a predictable failed chase . I am sure no one could dare to choose the earlier option, just because of one guy who pours acid in his every delivery.  BTW JB  the wonder boy also loves to smile after getting hit for a six of a mistimed shot or a fielder dropping a simple schoolboy standard catch of his bowling.

A lot must have been written about Jasprit Bumrah by now and I am sure a lot will be written in years to come , as super sensation JB has arrived . Any captain would love to speak a language of world beater if JB is in team and the reason Virat keeps smiling over-confidently as an Indian captain is not only because he has belief  in his own batting but also a bit more due to AK56 called JB  in his Armour.

When Jasprit started showing his teeth, I mean bowling weapons to us , we never thought this guy will create hungry Tiger like fear in the mind of a batsman . Never so much was expected from an Indian pacer.

If we look into  the history of Indian cricket at least from 1970s, Indian Pace battery was never a charged one but used to be just a formality like we have at  the security check at the entrance of a shopping mall or a multiplex. The real excitement of a movie , I mean a spin magicians would start after that. So much so that a first over was sometimes bowled by a pure batsman Sunil Gavaskar, just to remove the shine of the ball so that a spin magician Bishen Bedi could turn it well.

Can you imagine that  in no helmet era, Indian pacers looked like close friends of the batsmen? The only pace bowler who was allowed to take a wicket or two  in those days was Abid Ali and he too did his job as a bowler more casually  than he did as a batsman. The pace bowlers were not used as weapons but as a welcome drink for a batsmen. Eknath Solkar who was  another opening bowler who would often give Abid Ali support from other end and by mistake grabbed a few wickets. Though a talented allrounder Eknath was in team more as a fielder than anything else.

Fast bowling in India in the 80s was bit more spicy with likes of Ghavri, Binny , Madanlal and a few like Walsan who could generate pace with not so good line . Karsan Ghavri was the first, who could make batsman hurry with his bouncers and later with Kapil Dev became India’s first good pair of Pace bowlers who were allowed to keep shine on the ball intact. So much so that they won many matches for India and opening batsmen of England and Australia started giving respect to Indian pacers even after helmets had arrived.

Then came Venktesh Prasad, Manoj Prabhakar, Sandhu, Vasan, Abey Kuruvilla, Raju Kulkarni and many more not to forget a speed gun Srikant . But no one could win matches for India single handedly consistently except for Zaheer Khan and Srishant in few series with helpful wickets.  Ishan Sharma (in first few years ) to some extent looked like a good pace bowler. Irfan came showed some promise and reduced speed became smart enough to preserve energy for long term career in shorter formats.

The current pace attack of Indian team looks a far more genuine one who would make a fully protected batsmab his wicket and life , not necessarily in that order.  This seriously dangerous looking pace  battery of  Bumrah, Umesh , Bhuvi and Shami  with consistent line and length would definitely compete if not outclass world’s best crop of current lethal weapons . Though Bumrah is one who stands taller among all including the worlds best.

The Bumrah effect was first seen in T-20 format in IPL few years back and then this boy started showing  his prowess in all three formats. Some experts had predicted that this bomber plane was only made for showcasing on Independence day celebrations (T-20).

It may be easy to score at twenty per over for batsman in T-20 but for a bowler to give economy of 4 to 5 in T-20 is like swimming with full vigor  against Tsunami tide. The power machine Jasprit has been doing it consistently in last few IPL seasons. He was then rightly selected for Test cricket where he adjusted nicely to crush the opposition not once, not twice but thrice in just ten matches he played. The boy has already reached threshold of 50 wickets and has thrice scalped five result oriented hauls.

If you ask greatest fast bowlers in the world what are the qualities  fast bowlers can’t afford not to have. They would prefer a combination of  killing instinct with angry expression added to speed, pace, bounce, swing, a good line and length a good yorker, a good bouncer, and latest in fashion smart slower ball .

Bumrah has one more in addition to above qualities, ie. a smilling face. The more the challenge more this man smiles and that’s not cunning one , it’s a super sporting smile which brings best out of him. Probably his quota of anger is already donated to Virat by him.

Bumrah we just cant stop loving you. This world cup, no cricket fan is quite hopeful of a final birth , leave alone a trophy but for you . Just because of you ‘The smiling Tiger’ , entire nation is putting money on India. Just because you are leading the pace attack and you will have ten overs to bowl we are going to watch every match of India  and every one know those ten overs would be blinders for opposition batsmen .

Just remain fit Jasprit bhai, many Indians would be declaring themselves unfit  to  get approval for their sick leave from 30 May to 14 July to watch you spearheading the Indian attack  and enjoy dissolving opposition batting in your H2SO4.



By Aju Deshpande