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The Number’s Game – Why India Need Jasprit Bumrah Back

India's Jasprit Bumrah during a practice session
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It’s been a disappointing couple of weeks for team India in the lead-up to their 2022 T20 World Cup campaign. Rohit Sharma’s were unceremoniously knocked out of the Asia Cup with defeats to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage before failing to defend a mammoth score of 208 against Australia in Mohali.

The most worrying problem for team India right now is the death bowling and form of their veteran pacer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The two-time IPL orange cap winner has conceded 16, 14, and 19 runs in the penultimate over in 3 of India’s last four matches, games which India went on to lose despite having 41, 42, and 54 to defend in the last four overs.

Kumar leaked a career-high 52 runs in 4 overs against Australia and was destroyed at the death overs by Matthew Wade. The SRH seamer couldn’t accurately land his yorkers and didn’t have the pace to hurt Wade when he went short of a length on a good batting surface, resulting in the left-hander scoring five boundaries off him in his final two overs.

Harshal Patel also had a poor night out in Mohali on his return to the side. In conditions tailor-made for batting, the fast bowler’s variations and slower balls had little effect, with David and Wade hitting three sixes between them against Patel in the 18th over to change the game.

BOWLER

OVERS

ECONOMY

Arshdeep Singh

15.1

7.1

Jasprit Bumrah

16.4

7.74

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

32.3

9.02

Harshal Patel

27.1

10.9

                                                                                    Indian pacers T20I record at the death (Overs 16-20) since 2020

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel’s struggles at the death highlight the importance of Jasprit Bumrah to the Indian cricket team. The Mumbai Indians star is the best death bowler in world cricket and is the only Indian pacer that can be relied upon consistently in the final five overs, other than Arshdeep Singh.

While Harshal and Bhuvneshwar rely on the pitch and variations of pace to be successful, Bumrah has more tools in his arsenal. He is more accurate with his yorkers. He also has a sharp bouncer and can bowl a heavy ball on a good length to stifle batters. Bumrah also has a mean change of pace delivery, but unlike Harshal and Bhuvneshwar, it is more effective on Australian pitches due to the speed differential compared to the stock ball.

Team India are going to need Jasprit Bumrah to be back at his best to have any hopes of winning their first ICC trophy in nearly a decade. However, considering the other options in the XI, the worry is that even his introduction won’t be enough to take them all the way.

 

[Featured Image Credit: ANI]

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