T20 World Cup: Practise and practise more to perfect the yorkers, says Jasprit Bumrah

India’s pace warhead not a believer in 'over-teaching' his younger pace partners

Jasprit Bumrah bracing up for the mega event (Photo: National Herald Archives)
Jasprit Bumrah bracing up for the mega event (Photo: National Herald Archives)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

When Jasprit Bumrah was away due to an injury in the last T20 World Cup in Australia, Rohit Sharma & Co realised what they were missing the hard way. Almost a year after his dramatic comeback, during which he had a memorable 50-overs World Cup at home, Bumrah is India’s go to fast bowler in the World T20 in the US and West Indies.

In what’s essentially a three-member pace attack comprising of Bumrah as the leader of the unit, Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh – with Hardik Pandya as the sixth bowling option – he will be expected to strike in the powerplays as well as the death. The hard length, bounce and variety may all be part of his repertoire, but the deadly yorkers remain a calling card for him.    

There are enough stories doing the rounds about how he has often helped the younger bowlers develop this must-learn weapon in white ball cricket and Bumrah reveals it’s only relentless practice which has helped him perfect this art.

While tennis-ball cricket has helped him grow this weapon, the champion bowler says: “Is it (tennis-ball cricket) a secret (to bowling yorkers) or not? I don't know. But repetition surely is. I keep on practising it because every skill that you develop, you have to practise it and make it stronger. So I think a combination of both would be the answer.”

 Speaking to the ICC website, Bumrah – now the third highest wicket taker among Indians in T20Is with 74 wickets – said: ‘’I played a lot of tennis ball, rubber ball cricket when I was growing up. I used to play a lot with my friends in summer camps and on summer vacations. Or whenever you used to get a lot of time.

“When I was a kid, I used to think that this is the only way to get wickets. Because I was a fast bowling fan, I was fascinated by what I saw on the television. So I tried to replicate that.” 

Ever since Bumrah was fast-tracked into international cricket from IPL in 2016, pundits had always been apprehensive about the longevity of his career because of the short run-up and huge amount of shoulder which goes into the delivery.

However, the last comeback had been an extraordinary one and Bumrah feels that the key behind it is he has learnt to enjoy the game and the process rather than worrying about the results. “Since I have come back from my injury, I have only focused on enjoying the game as much as I can,” Bumrah said, trying to zero in on the process rather than the uncertainty surrounding the game.

“Because (certain) things will go my way. (Certain) things will not go my way.’’“All of these things will be a part of my process. So I have just realised that I started playing this sport because I love this sport. And I will focus on that rather than the end result. So in that aspect you reduce your pressure. And you enjoy the sport.’’ 

Asked how much of a mentoring role he plays as the senior pro, Bumrah said he was more a believer in giving them space. “You don't try to over-teach. That is something that I have learned,” Bumrah said, before adding: “Because whenever people need help, I let them have their own questions. Or if they need my help. Because you don't want to give too much information.” 

Bumrah tried to justify his view in a context that learning a skill is part and parcel of the game. “It's not like they have just been lucky and they land here. So that is what I try to do. I do pass on certain information that I have gained over from my experience,’’ he added.

“But I don’t try to burden them with (over) information because that is a part of the journey as well. That you have to find your own ways and solutions.” India are in Group A of the World T20 along with Pakistan, Ireland, Canada, and the USA.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines