By Khurram Habib
New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) After battling Covid-19 lockdown and rains in Ahmedabad as he hoped to return to peak fitness that had sidelined him for the latter part of 2019 and hurt his form early this year, pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah seems to have finally regained top form.
Bumrah is joint third in the list of wicket-takers with 17 wickets in 11 matches so far this IPL season.
The right-arm Mumbai Indians bowler had to endure a complete lockdown in Ahmedabad during late March, April and May, as the graph of Covid-19 cases shot up in the city. Everything, including the grounds, was shut down, confirmed those from the city.
Slowly, as places began to open, Bumrah started to turn up at Gujarat College ground to bowl at single stump and sometimes to Parthiv Patel, although it was hard to do it every day as rains from June began playing spoilsport.
Bumrah could never get regular practice, just like many other cricketers, and it was only in the Mumbai Indians camp that he got to practice properly.
With his form clicking, Bumrah reflected on the time during lockdown saying as professional cricketers they have to adjust to it and be ready to live and play in a bio-bubble.
“It is very important to be mentally fresh. I know it is difficult to always stay in the bubble and a controlled atmosphere, not being able to go out. When things are normal, you go out for a coffee or roam around, get a breath of fresh air,” said Bumrah while answering questions the media on Tuesday.
“It is difficult but you have to stay in the present, try to control the things you can, and try to create a healthy atmosphere in the bubble, try to be with people, try to talk to each other, try to speak with each other, try to have good conversation with people back home. All these things help you. Times are tough, but you have to adjust as professional cricketers. Everybody’s safety is top priority. This is what you look to do, and this is what I’ll do,” he added.
Bumrah’s class has shown through the Super Overs. Prior to this season, he has produced overs that have helped his team win the matches.
Although this time he couldn’t deliver wins, his Super Overs were pretty good. He couldn’t defend eight against RCB but took the game to the last ball of the over, even forcing AB de Villiers to play a top-edged shot that went to the fence.
Bumrah then restricted Kings XI Punjab to just six, but that was equalled by Mohammed Shami for the opposition taking the game into another Super Over where Boult conceded and lost the game.
“It is always difficult to bowl in pressure situations. Bowlers can come under pressure, can complicate things, think about a lot of things they shouldn’t be thinking. I try to do things that are in my control and I try to stay in the present. I try to take it one ball at a time. I assess what the team wants me to do at the moment and then segregate the whole situation into ball-by-ball situation,” said Bumrah.
Bumrah, who is known for his sharp yorkers, has also surprised the batsmen with short balls. The ball that got rid of Andre Russell, for example, climbed sharply. Even in the Super Over against RCB, he used the short ball effectively.
“It is just not that you have a same template, where you repeat balls or you change with each and every delivery. You have to consider what the wicket is offering and then you decide on what to bowl,” he said.