Bumrah vs Shami: Who is the best Indian bowler?


In more ways than one, Sunday was perhaps the craziest day in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab did an encore and went all guns blazing in pursuit of glory. Not only was the game tied, but the Super Over too ended in a tie, which meant the game went into another Super Over!

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, the two stalwarts of the Indian bowling unit played perfect protagonists as the drama unfolded at the Dubai International Stadium. The duo played a key role for their respective sides and the Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab played out a thrilling contest that witnessed excellent death bowling and absolute edge-of-the-seat stuff. It took two Super Over deciders, in addition to the 40 overs that were played already, to decide who was the ‘King’ of Sunday evening.

Mohammed Shami was at his effective best, as he bagged two crucial wickets against the Mumbai Indians, apart from his heroics in the Super Over, while Jasprit Bumrah too, was at his accurate best as he accounted for three Kings XI Punjab batsman, including the prized wicket of the in-form KL Rahul.

What was the most exciting thing to see was the yorker-battle between Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. The two pacers put on a furious show with an outstanding exhibition of toe-crushing yorkers in the first Super Over.

Two to tango: Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.

Bumrah, Shami rule the roost

26-year-old Bumrah gave away only five runs, and his performance was matched by Shami, who cemented his spot as one of the finest death bowlers.

Both the pacers played an integral part in the game as it went down as one of the most thrilling contests in the history of the tournament. Mumbai and Punjab played two super overs, the first of which, was bowled by Indian bowling greats, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.

In the first super over, Jasprit Bumrah bowled the over for Mumbai Indians and gave away only six runs. For Kings XI Punjab, Mohammed Shami came out to bowl and he too gave away only six runs. Thus the super over was also tied and the game went into the second super over wherein KXIP won the game against Mumbai.

Delhi Capitals pacer Kagiso Rabada is leading the Purple Cap table as the South African has bagged 19 wickets so far in nine games. The Indian duo are running him close with Bumrah (15) 4 wickets behind Rabada, while Shami one further away on 14.

Thanks largely to Mohammed Shami’s excellent death bowling, KXIP managed to stop MI from chasing down a target of six in the first Super Over and in the second Super Over Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal scored the required 12 runs to take them to a win.
While Punjab played the first-ever double Super Over of the IPL’s history, the team has already been part of another Super Over game earlier in the tournament, a match that they eventually lost to Delhi last month.

Bumrah, Shami and death bowling

While bowling at any stage of the game is a difficult task in T20 cricket, bowling at the death is an art that not many have been able to master, something that both Bumrah and Shami can boast of. So between the two, who does it more effectively or with greater impact?

Death bowling is Bumrah’s zone and he knows it better than most others on the planet.
Bumrah picked up 19 wickets for Mumbai Indians last year from 16 games and bowled at an economy of 6.63, which is as good as it gets in this format of the game. Bumrah’s clever use of yorkers, slower deliveries, bumpers and slow bouncers makes him a nightmare for even the best of the finishers to score off. This year too, he has an impressive economy of 6.5 in the final five overs of the innings.

Mohammed Shami has been the strike bowler for Kings XI Punjab for a couple of years now. He has picked up a total of 54 wickets from 60 IPL matches at an average of 34. In 2019, he conceded runs at just 6.76 RPO while taking 19 wickets from 14 matches. Shami has developed a great variety that one can think of, but his pace and the meanest of bouncers are his primary weapons, which will keep the batsmen honest at the death.

Apart from being crucial members for their respective franchise, the two are a massive asset for the Indian team. Both have added variations like knuckleball and wide yorkers to their repertoire which has made the contest between the bowler and batsman more even. At the moment, the two are operating on an even keel and to decide who is better is like choosing one side of the coin over the other.

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