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Sky is Blue, Roses are Red & Bumrah is the Best at Present

Bumrah's magic in yorking a batter

You have doubt? Oh, perhaps you have seen a fast bowler with the mixture of Curtly Ambrose, Jimmy Anderson and Glenn McGrath in the current era. You may follow cricket on the Mars! You may actually have created your own bowler! Otherwise, there are no ifs and buts in few things- Sky is blue, Roses are red and Jasprit Bumrah is the best.

Put a hand on the heart, and tell the truth! How many times have you seen the video? That Bumrah yorker of uprooting the stumps of Ollie Pope, leaving just one single wood, pressed on the ground must be most of people’s pinned video. How many angles, and languages, and positions have you checked?

If not so, then it must be about the slow off-cutter, just 48 hours later, that stunned Ben Foakes in high belief, and put England on the brink of their defeat, which at the end came at stretch of 106-runs in Vizag. And on Wednesday, he became the No. 1 rank ICC Test bowler, just as the testimonial of his excellence.

Stand up and applaud Bumrah
©-Ratnish/ Twitter
Bumrah’s Hyderabad show jumped the world out of skin

It felt like it did really. In Hyderabad, Bumrah didn’t have the figures to show for his brilliance. In the first innings, he picked up 2/28 in 8.3 overs, one of which was Ben Stokes who literally had no idea of the ball that came back sharp to hit the stumps. In the second innings, he had 4/41 in 16.1 overs, when the scoring rate has been more than 4 in the innings.

It was the spell after Lunch when he literally turned England in white. Bumrah almost the had the better of Ben Duckett for almost 10 times before he actually sent him back. As they have been doing so far, and would keep on doing for the rest of the series, Duckett looked his throw his willow at Bumrah for few times in the over, and was getting those lucky boundaries here and there.

This time Bumrah was ready, and he came out of the box, and delivered a swinging ball that nipped back further in off the seam. The England opener wasn’t expecting the ball at all, as one could find out from his stance. A flashing drive saw him playing the ball away from his body. That was enough to get beaten and saw his stumps getting uprooted.

Bumrah is having a consistent face-off with Joe Root, who hasn’t been able to read Bumrah at all. The 21st over of the innings when he got out was the fair example of it. He was expecting the ball to go out, after facing two inswingers, but Bumrah kept it coming with the angle and Root, slightly off balanced while clipping it away, was beaten in the inside edge and got out for 2.

It was one of those slow tracks where one would expect the spinners to enjoy the party, when Bumrah, with all his smartness and understanding the right line and length of the track, put him apart from others. If that ball to Root isn’t brilliance, what is then? Oh, sure, there are few more, but all from Bumrah.

Ind vs Eng, Vizag: Bumrah fox England, but Bazball will keep Test cricket alive

Bumrah’s Vizag show made the whole world stood on their feet

Because he bowls from such a brilliant angle, and with that awkward action, it gets very difficult to pick him. And when one actually follows his run-up, the anticipation of the speed of the ball moves around 130-135, but it still puzzles one how he generates that extra 5-10 kmph all the time!

His rhythm is such key. Because he releases the ball little further to the batter from a position where most of the other bowlers do, it becomes more tough to adjust the speed. Ravi Shastri, for many times in the commentary box has revealed how hard it becomes even for the Indian batters to face him in the nets. Picking up the speed is so difficult.

Let’s come with Ben Stokes. He is a brilliant player of pace bowling, but he can’t able to pick Bumrah on the pace. He can’t read the difference of his speed and slowness of the surface. It’s the second time in the series that he has been dismissed in the same fashion to Bumrah, where Stokes had no clue from which angle the ball is travelling at him.

Root is the same. Because he has been dismissed by the incoming delivery in Hyderabad, he was expecting it to be in the same fashion. The over saw Bumrah giving Root two back-to-back inswingers, and two consecutive outswingers, before keeping the ball away from Root, to which he nicked the ball in the hands of the slip.

And there is no definition to the Pope ball; it’s just unplayable. There is no way one could think of even defending the ball, let alone smashing it in England’s Bazball fashion. Even the writer of the article has no sense of putting bat on that delivery, how could he tell you that?

Bumrah to Pope and Stokes
©- Cricbuzz/ Twitter

Even the slower ball to Foakes was an example of how smart he thinks. When no one was able to break that partnership of Foakes and Tom Hartley, Bumrah came and did the job in the blink of an eye. It was a slower ball, or rather a 20-kmph dip in the pace after four deliveries on 139 kmph.

ODIs and T20s? You need stats? What are other options against Bumrah?

As the speculation of the best bowler has been around the present era, the eyes won’t move at Zaheer Khan, Waqar Younis or Wasim Akram, thee of them who Bumrah has been looking forward as idols since his childhood, or Kapil Dev, Sir Richard Hadlee or others.

The current options are Mitchell Starc, Kagiso Rabada, and then there is struggle. One can’t think of Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood as the best bowlers in T20s, certainly in Tests and ODIs, but not in the shortest format of the game, even one look at the bigger picture.

Bumrah’s 155 Test wickets have come at an average of just 20.19 after 65 innings. The only other bowler with a better average of 150 scalps is Sydney Barnes, who last played a Test a century before Bumrah even debuted.

In seven innings Starc has bowled in India, he has seven wickets at 50,1, that’s just one more than Bumrah’s first innings wickets at Vizag in the last week. Bowling in India is a different art as a pace bowler. Rabada has 2 wickets in five innings at 55.5. Bumrah has 32 wickets in Australia at 21.25, where only Hadlee and Ambrose have bettered him in the average section.

Bumrah and his class
©- Johns./ Twitter

In England, Bumrah has 37 wickets at 23.78, while in the Caribbean, he has 13 scalps in two Tests at 9.23. In South Africa, he has 38 wickets at 20.76, only bettered by Barnes. The only place he has struggled is New Zealand, with 13 wickets. In the 21st century, only three pacers have more wickets than him at a better average- Starc, Lee and McGrath, all of whom hails from pace land. His ODI economy is 4.59, bettered by no pacer since 2010, bowling more than Bumrah. From the bowlers in teams of ICC’s full members, his 6.55 is the best T20I economy and 7.02 is the second best in T20s after Dale Steyn.

India has produced so many pacers, but no one as versatile as Bumrah. Across three formats, Bumrah has surpassed all the bowlers of the current era, a few of the past. There are bowlers who could be better than him in specific locations, Rabada in bouncers, Starc with outswing, Jimmy with wobble, Broad was with inswingers, Cummins with slower ones, or Shaheen in the powerplay! But you can’t buy all the products in the single shop You have to reach Gujrat and buy Bumrah.

Keep an eye in the game rather than in the numbers, Bumrah does all the things on his own. End of the debate.


That Mad Writer
Author: That Mad Writer

Someone who loves how Steve Smith from being Australia's future Shane Warne has become present Don Bradman, gets inspired by Anderson's longevity, gets awed with Kohli's drive and Southee's bowling action. Never gets excited with stats and records, and believes in instincts, and always questions spinners bowling with the new ball.

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