IPL 2017: Interestingly, Jasprit Bumrah started playing IPL even before making his first-class debut and believes that the league has played an important role in his career so far.
April 4, 2013, was a usual day for most people in India but for a 19-year-old boy from Gujarat, a life-changing evening awaited. Mumbai Indians were playing Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. RCB started off decently and captain Virat Kohli was on strike with the six machine Chris Gayle when Ricky Ponting threw the ball to a tall lanky young boy who was hit for two fours from his three first balls by the RCB captain. However, on the very next ball, he got rid of Virat Kohli and followed it with the Mayank Aggarwal. While most people were busy discussing his slinging action, least did they know he was going to be India’s biggest asset in limited overs cricket in less than 3 years. As it turned out, Jasprit Bumrah became a household name in the country.
‘arey nahi aisa nahi hai’, laughed Bumrah when he was asked whether he expected to reach these heights in such a short span of time. “I don’t think I have reached any heights in my career so far. For me, there are a lot of the things to be learnt and there is a long way to go. But, yeah definitely the start has been really good,” said a modest Bumrah who pulled off a thrilling win against England in a T20 last month. “The pressure is always there when you play for India but my focus was on the current moment and I wasn’t thinking too much. I knew the ground was big and the wicket was slow,” he said while remembering that riveting game.
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When asked about how Rohit Sharma is different from Virat Kohli as a captain, the 23-year-old fast bowler said they both have a very similar approach. “I have played just one series in Virat’s captaincy so it’s hard to comment but both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are quite similar in their approach. They both urge you to be your own captain, ask you to set your own field, have a plan for each batsman and they always back what you believe in,” he added.
Interestingly, Jasprit Bumrah started playing IPL even before making his first-class debut and believes that the league has played an important role in his career so far. “IPL has been very important in my career but it’s not just IPL that gives you an identity. It is played for just two months and rest of the year you have to play in domestic tournaments and have to prove yourself. Since I started playing IPL before first-class cricket, I got an opportunity to share the dressing room with so many legends. By observing them, I learnt how to prepare for the match. On the other hand, domestic cricket helped me understand my own game,” he said.
Ever since Bumrah made his debut, there have been many comparisons with Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga due to his slinging action. Bumrah called how Maling has helped him grow as a player and said, “I came to IPL in 2013 at a very young age. I had just started playing Under-19 but still, Malinga approached me himself. He told me that you have a different action so I’ll help you. That was very important for me and I stay in touch with and keep taking his inputs.”
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The 10th season of IPL will also see the return of Australian fast-bowler Mitchell Johnson in the Mumbai side which means the team now has four quality overseas fast-bowling options in Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell McClenaghan. “I’m not sure about the combination but I am really happy that Mitchell Johnson is back in the team. He was a part of the MI side when I started playing IPL but left for Kings XI Punjab. I have grown up watching him play and have always admired his bowling. As a teenager, I used to watch a lot of videos of Mitchell Johnson and also of Wasim Akra and Brett Lee. I have learnt a lot from Johnson and shared a good relationship with him too,” said a delighted Bumrah.
Mumbai Indians will have a major change in the think tank as well. The aggressive Australian captain, Ricky Ponting has been replaced by a comparatively calm Mahela Jayawardhane as the coach. However, Bumrah is really excited to work with the Sri Lankan legend. “We have heard a lot of good things about Mahela Jayawardene. Even Malinga talks of him quite highly and rates him very highly. So, hopefully, we’ll have a great time under him,” he concluded.