Jasprit Bumrah might be feeling strange right now. For, he has not been meted out the kind of treatment that he has got against the New Zealand batsmen before. In all the three ODIs, India’s ace pacer bowled his full quota of ten overs. And in all the three ODIs put together, he could not manage to take even a single wicket. He conceded 167 runs at an economy rate of 5.57, with the batsmen comfortably tackling him.
Is the mystery of Bumrah's zingers fading away? Are opposition teams finding a way to tackle him?
In fact, even in the series against Australia, Bumrah could manage to pick up just a solitary wicket in the entire series. For a bowler who is often the skipper’s 'go to man', Bumrah has disappointed in all the ODIs which he has played in 2020.
Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra came to the defense of Bumrah by stating that there is too much pressure on Burmah’s shoulders. In fact, this is what Nehra had to say.
"You can’t expect Bumrah to deliver in every series. One has to remember he is returning from injury. It’s difficult for anybody to keep performing at the top of his game all the time. Even Virat Kohli has had a quiet series.”
Nehra also added that the other bowlers need to know their roles as well.
“The Indian team management could be much better while picking the playing XI. The other pacers, besides Bumrah and (Mohammad) Shami, need to know their roles. They have got used to having Bumrah and Shami firing for the last two years. There’s too much pressure on Bumrah. There has been very little consistency in the team selection so far."
Is India’s ace speedster under too much pressure to deliver?
After the poor series against New Zealand, Bumrah also lost his top spot in the ODI rankings. Former Indian batting legend VVS Laxman opines that Bumrah’s form is indeed a cause of concern for the Indian team.
“It must be a cause for concern for India that Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli‘s go-to bowler whenever he has needed breakthroughs, has been short of wickets all tour. Additionally, his lengths too haven’t been spot-on, which means he hasn’t been able to impose usual pressure. Of course, New Zealand’s batsmen have played him well, with Taylor in the forefront.”
The likes of Guptill and Taylor negotiated Bumrah with comfort. They have made sure that they do not lose their wicket to him, yet have also managed to score off Bumrah as well.
Probably the layers of mystery are slowly falling off. For, one wicket in six ODIs in the whole of 2020 does not augur well for a bowler of Bumrah’s class. Bumrah shall definitely have to reinvent himself if he wants the mystery to still remain. And, if he does not do so, there are tough times ahead for Bumrah as well as for the Indian team in the future.