Rapidly establishing himself as a key part of India’s bowling attack in both ODIs and T20Is, Jasprit Bumrah has expressed his dream of playing Test cricket as well. Set to return to the first-class circuit during Gujarat’s clash against Bengal at the Feroz Shah Kotla, the 22-year old is eager to channel his energy on the Ranji Trophy in order to realize his ambition of donning whites for India.
Bumrah felt, “I don’t think about selections. Wherever I am playing, I try to focus on that. I am always focusing on things I have to do in a match. I try to focus on how the wicket will be and what I need to do. If I get a chance, it will be dream come true. I always believe in taking it match by match. Right now, my focus is Ranji Trophy.
Elaborating on the difference between the formats, he added, “It’s always easier to play four-day after one day unlike reverse (vice versa). In ODIs, one uses variations in short span of time. In longer format, one needs to be consistent for a longer duration. It’s a test of skill and as professionals we need to adapt.“
Having played 8 ODIs and 21 T20Is, the right-armer is currently being pigeon-holed as a limited-overs specialist with his propensity to deliver pin-point yorkers making him a valuable asset for the ‘Men in Blue’. However, he does not want to be seen as a one dimensional bowler and hopes to add a few more weapons in his armory by working extensively during practice sessions.
Bumrah insisted, “You cannot be successful by just bowling yorkers. Nobody can bowl six out of six yorkers so you have to mix your pace. You have to bowl bouncers, mix up the pace. In practice, I don’t only bowl yorkers.”
Among the best ever exponents of yorkers were the two Pakistani fast bowlers Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. The sight of the duo steaming in with the old ball and sending down toe crushers at searing pace was quite common in the 90s. Not surprisingly, Bumrah named the ‘2 W’s as his role models while growing up.
He revealed. “As I played a lot of tennis ball cricket, I used to watch Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis a lot. Then Mitchell Johnson, these three used to be my favorites. I would try and copy them – also Brett Lee. Having played for Mumbai Indians, I got to interact with some legends (like Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting) and every input coming from them has been very valuable. I try to use it to my advantage. As a bowler you can always improve, always get better. The more you play, more experience you get and you become a better player.”