Jasprit Bumrah has become a vital cog in this Indian bowling set-up and his absence leaves the team in a state of momentary crisis. The bowler, who was in red-hot form will miss the upcoming test series against the Proteas due to a stress fracture in his back.
The Men In Blue, who are often known for their batting prowess over the course of their journey in the sport, have lamented over the lack of impeccable world-class pacers until the arrival of Bumrah. Possessing an unorthodox action, Bumrah has grabbed all the eyeballs with his versatility.
While the impact brought by the bowler has been undisputable, the progress of the other bowlers, especially in the limited-over formats brings debate on the table. The bowler from Gujarat has acquired the subtle knack of picking up wickets and restricting the run-rate at the same time, something which the others have failed to do so.
India’s obsession over a left-arm bowler saw the inclusion of Khaleel Ahmed, while the rest of the bowling attack comprising of Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar with Ishant Sharma in the longer formats have successfully aided Bumrah, but their ability to lead an attack remains a huge probing question.
While the talk revolves around the pool of pacers, India have plenty to dip in with promising talents such as Navdeep Saini, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Deepak Chahar but their inexperience comes into the picture. In terms of impact, the stone-cold truth is that there is no one close to Bumrah when it comes to each of these formats.
The numbers prove the facts with Bumrah claiming over a hundred wickets since his debut, a feat which only Mohammad Shami has attained. To tilt the scale in the favour of Bumrah, he has done it with better conviction by having a better strike rate and average.
The Mumbai Indians’ pacer’s high dot ball percentage also allows us to understand how Bumrah helps create pressure. This other bowlers exploit this pressure and get wickets to their name with ultimately the team benefitting from this. These are a few things that the lanky pacer brings onto the table which often goes unnoticed and evades the statistics.
Despite the presence of experienced pacers, the bowling attack without the World Cup’s bowling star lacks the X-factor which is needed to determine the fate of the game. Just taking the recent T20 series against South Africa, the absence of a leader in the bowling attack was clearly evident which curtails the importance of the 25-year-old’s presence in the squad.
India have been gifted with a rare gem that is Jasprit Bumrah, it is the responsibility of the management to keep it polished and devoid of any cracks. Not only is his on-field play crucial, the other factors that make him such an indispensable member is also worth noting.