Jasprit Bumrah: The X-factor in the Indian team
Not so long ago he was touted as a T20 specialist. Day after day he kept on delivering under pressure and the whole world took notice of this young man who was considered to be the next Lasith Malinga of T-20 cricket.
Deep down he had this appetite to break into the Indian Test eleven. Its never easy once you are stamped as a T-20 specialist to break into a Test eleven. Moreover, his unusual action which was his strength in T-20 cricket was considered to be his enemy in the long format of cricket. In Test match cricket, the main weapon for any fast bowler is his ability to swing the ball and with his side arm action and it was assumed that Jasprit Bumrah will not be able to generate much swing or seam.
Anybody who would have noticed the calm demeanour that Bumrah possesses will be able tell you what sets him apart from the other young fast bowlers. Bumrah has a mature head on his shoulders and his game is not just about bowling fast or bowling yorkers or slower ones. He thinks about his game all the time and has the ability to read the situation of a game. This makes him a quick learner which was quite evident in his debut Test in South Africa. He bowled ordinarily in the first innings, spraying the ball all around in search of those magical deliveries. Then came the second innings and Bumrah came out a totally different bowler. He bowled consistently in the right areas and waited for the batsmen to make mistakes. He came back with 3 wickets for 39 runs. It took him just one innings to learn the basic ingredients of a successful Test bowler.
What makes Bumrah a real threat in any condition is his consistent pace and his ability to move the ball away from an incoming action which was visible during the South African series.
The pacer's non-availability hurt India during the first two Test matches in England, but, he is back for the third. He is an unknown commodity for English players in Test matches, which could well make him the X-factor that India is looking for, to turn the series around.