walk. Trot. Jog. Wang. and just like that Jasprit Bumrah came back
Returning from back surgery for a stress fracture and playing for the first time in nearly 11 months, Bumrah made a successful comeback. First T20 match against Ireland in Malahide, There was no obvious change in his bowling action, no signs of discomfort and he gradually increased his pace.
A Clip of two balls shared by BCCI A practice session ahead of the series showed promising signs. The first of these balls was a dangerous bouncer, the second ball was a tremendous yorker. His displeasure when Bumrah released indicated that he was holding nothing back, and he confirmed the same on the eve of the first T20I.
But ask any cricketer and they will tell you that bowling in a match is very different from bowling in the nets. That’s why everyone was waiting for Friday. And when Bumrah, captaining India in T20Is for the first time, won the toss and decided to bowl in overcast skies, Indian fans and selectors alike must have celebrated. Remember, the ODI World Cup is about to begin in less than 50 days. and 12 in the Asia Cup.
Bumrah’s first ball was an anticlimactic loser. A full shot on the pads which Andy Balbirnie flicks over square leg for four. But Balbirnie was in for a shock.
The speed gun stopped Bumrah’s second ball at just 129 kmph. But a combination of angle, seam and swing meant that it came swiftly onto the inside edge of Balbirnie and hit the off-stump. Bumrah spread his arms in celebration and also did a fist pump, while Balbirnie looked at the pitch in disbelief.
As his first over progressed, Bumrah increased his pace. His fourth ball was an inswing yorker at a speed of 135 kmph. Lorcan Tucker put his bat down just in time to save it.
It was already as good a start as Bumrah, India and the Indian fans could realistically have expected. But it was about to get better. Lorcan Tucker moves to a length ball that is pitching wide outside off to scoop it over the wicketkeeper. He was successful in taking a simple catch on the left side of Sanju Samson.
Bumrah after hitting a boundary Finished his first over with five dots and two wickets,
He started his second over bowling in the mid-130 kmph and touched 141 off his third ball, which went towards Harry Tector. After this he ran at a slow speed of 117 kmph. However, this time there was no wicket.
Like Bumrah, another key fast bowler for India’s World Cup plans, prasidh krishna, was also coming back from back surgery. On T20I debut, he started with a loose one: a wide down the leg side.
The similarities did not end here. Prasidh also took a wicket in his first over as Tector scored a single from his third.
Unlike Bumrah, Prasidh picked up pace in the mid-130s straightaway and his fifth ball was clocked at 145 kmph (90 mph). He consistently hit the middle of the pitch and achieved high bounce – a skill that had made him the originator of India’s middle overs in ODIs before injury struck. He got his second wicket on one such ball as he contained the advancing George Dockrell for room. The result was a dolly for Ruturaj Gaikwad on the cover.
After bowling two overs each in his first spell, Bumrah and the famous returned towards the end of the innings. By then, Ireland were down from 31 for 5 to 80 for 6 trying to make quick runs.
Bumrah gave 13 runs in his third over and Prasidh gave 15 runs in his fourth over. But Bumrah made sure he puts up a strong performance. Bowling the 19th over of the innings, he varied his pace and length and conceded just one run, taking 2/24. Prasidh took 2 wickets for 32 runs.
However, India will be wary of getting ahead of itself. Bumrah’s last two attempts to make a comeback were not successful. Nevertheless, with the selectors expected to announce the Asia Cup squad early next week, the returns of Bumrah and Famous looked promising.