India’s trail-blaze and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah believes there should be another option for bowlers to maintain the ball, given the ICC has come up with new rules and regulations that avoid the use of saliva and sweat, keeping the Covid-19 pandemic spread control in mind.
The pacer also shared his opinion on restriction of celebrations on-field and high-fives, after picking a wicket. “I was not much of a hugger anyway! And not a high-five person as well, so that doesn’t trouble me a lot,” Bumrah said on the ICC’s video series, Inside Out Interviews.
“The only thing that interests me is the saliva bit. I don’t know what guidelines we’ll have to follow when we come back, but I feel there should be an alternative. If the ball is not well maintained, it’s difficult for the bowlers.
“The grounds are getting shorter and shorter, the wickets are becoming flatter and flatter. So we need something, some alternative for the bowlers to maintain the ball so that it can do something – maybe reverse in the end or conventional swing. In Test match cricket, yes (conditions are more bowler-friendly). That is why it’s my favourite format, because we have something over there. But in one-day cricket there are two new balls, so it hardly reverses at the end. We played in New Zealand, the ground (boundary) was 50 metres. So even if you are not looking to hit a six, it will go for six. In Test matches I have no problem, I’m very happy with the way things are going.
“Whenever you play, I’ve heard the batsmen – not in our team, everywhere – complaining the ball is swinging. But the ball is supposed to swing! The ball is supposed to do something! We are not here just to give throwdowns, isn’t it? (laughter) This is what I tell batsmen all the time. In one-day cricket, when did the ball reverse last, I don’t know. Nowadays the new ball doesn’t swing a lot as well,” he further added.
Rhythm and pace are some of the essential factors for a fast bowler. Due to the pandemic outburst, cricket practice and players’ fitness routine has been on a standstill. Bumrah was seen last bowling against New Zealand in a Test series. The paceman also mentioned that he was training dedicatedly to ensure that he would be in a ‘decent shape’ once the sport resumes.
“I really don’t know how your body reacts when you don’t bowl for two months, three months. I’m trying to keep up with training so that as soon as the grounds open up, the body is in decent shape. I’ve been training almost six days a week but I’ve not bowled for a long period of time so I don’t know how the body will react when I bowl the first ball. I’m looking at it as a way to renew your own body. We’ll never get such a break again, so even if you have a small niggle here and there, you can be a refreshed person when you come back. You can prolong your career.”
Bumrah’s unique bowling technique is what forces the batsman to give a perplexing reaction to get their feet in sync with the ball.
“I’ve never been to a professional coach as such (in his formative years). All my cricket is self-taught. Everything I learned was through television, watching videos… so I don’t know how this action developed,” Bumrah said of his formative years. “There were always some people doubting that should I change it or not, but I’ve never really listened to them a lot. I always had belief that it could work.”
With his outstanding craft and visionary game-plan, do you think Jasprit Bumrah will be able to adjust to the new rules and regulations laid down by ICC? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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