The 30-year-old demonstrated his artistry on the second day, delivering a series of magical deliveries that resulted in his best figures in India. Across three destructive spells in the last two sessions, Bumrah managed an impressive six wickets for 45 runs in 15.5 overs.His remarkable exploits played a pivotal role in the hosts bundling out England for 253, securing a significant 143-run lead in the first innings.
While the crafty bowler reaped rewards from reverse swing in the series opener, on Saturday, he elevated his performance to an even higher level.
The way he set up the likes of Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope by getting the ball to move both ways before trapping them was a treat to watch. It wasn’t a surprise that the video clip of the booming inswinging yorker to castle Pope was circulated widely on social media.
For the second game in a row, England skipper Ben Stokes wore a bewildered look after being undone by Bumrah’s brilliance. What was that expression all about?
“I don’t know what Stokes was thinking but I attempted an outswing but the ball went straight so I think maybe he had seen the shine and thought the ball would go away but it came in straight and he got bowled,” said Bumrah.
“We know he is a dangerous batsman at that moment when he bats with the lower-order as he bats with freedom and takes lot of chances,” said Bumrah.
Bumrah usually takes his failure and success in a matter of fact manner and it was no different when asked about his bowling effort in the post day media interaction.
“In first class cricket, if you want to take wickets in India, you have to learn to bowl reverse swing. Probably, I learned to bowl reverse swing before the conventional swing because you play a lot of cricket on slow wickets,” said Bumrah.
“So you understand what you have to do over here. You have to find a way, what are the areas that you have to hit. So, yeah, in the nets, you practice all of those skills and try and execute (to get wickets).”
On his thought process before bamboozling Pope, Bumrah said: “At that time, the ball was relatively hard. So yes, there was some reverse swing. In reverse swing, you don’t have to bowl magical deliveries every ball.
“So I had bowled a few away going deliveries and then there was a thought going on in my head that what do I bowl? I should bowl a length delivery coming in or should I go for a yorker? But I had not bowled a yorker till then. I thought okay might as well take a chance with that and it did swing a lot. The execution was good, very happy with that.”
The away swingers worked against Root and Bairstow, who were anticipating the ball to come back in. Bumrah doesn’t like to rate his performances but considering the stage of the game, both those wickets were extremely important.
“I’m still playing, so hopefully more deliveries will come in my way. That phase was very important. To get Root and Pope at that time was very important for us because you understand that wicket does not do a lot and the wicket was a little on the slower side,” he said.
He has plenty of variations up his sleeve and the world has witnessed that especially in the shorter formats but Bumrah says one must understand the importance of patience in the five-day version of the game.
“Test cricket teaches you patience, isn’t’ it? When you try and bowl magical deliveries now and then, it doesn’t work. Even if you have everything you don’t need to use everything at one particular time.
“You understand what is working today and what is the need of the hour. Try to focus on the now. Earlier, if I have thought about taking six wickets, it has never worked for me. I have a lot of deliveries and you can confuse yourself. You need to shut that noise and focus on the next ball,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)