Slow and Steady Jasprit Bumrah won India the race at Lord’s

Jasprit Bumrah (Image Source: Twitter)
Jasprit Bumrah (Image Source: Twitter)

In a cricket crazy ‘pace is pace, yaar’ continent perhaps that’s something which you don’t often associate with our nation, we had fast bowlers who bowled at medium military pace and medium-fast bowlers bowling just faster than some spinners.

But the tryst with fast bowling hasn’t taken off the way it went for our neighbours who years ago were part of us. While they produced fast bowlers in a mint, we produced them once in a blue moon.

In an era, where their bowlers conquered with ferocious pace and flawless spin, we dominated with our spinners who could deceive you right in front of your eyes. You would expect it to turn but it didn’t, you would expect it wouldn’t turn, it would. That’s how we dominated with spin for the majority of our playing years.

Perhaps, the tryst with fast bowlers came true in 2018 when we could brag of a quartet of fast bowlers which lived up to ‘pace is pace, yaar.’

The bowling line-up which earlier used to struggle in foreign conditions not because of their bowling but because of fitness soon had this misery behind their backs and in some months not to be seen.

The period of fast bowlers began in 2018 and we were prepared to take on the world of fast bowling Australians, huge & sturdy West Indians, the swing might of England, the beasts of South Africans, the finesse of New Zealand & the rawness of Pakistan.

However, we have seen a lot of wickets by our fast bowlers but the two that stuck out which made the whole nation go crazy were the ingenious slower ones bowled by someone who has mastered the elusive yorker.

Shaun Marsh adjudged LBW on Jasprit Bumrah's delivery (Image source: Screengrab/Twitter)
Shaun Marsh adjudged LBW on Jasprit Bumrah’s delivery (Image source: Screengrab/Twitter)

While the one bowled to Shaun Marsh on the brink of lunch in 2018 was well deceived like a quintessential spinner. No one knew what went in that moment from bowling balls at 140k’s to dropping it to 120k’s, Shaun Marsh was all over the place but his bat was not which ultimately made him leg before wicket and an end to an ideal Shaun Marsh innings.

While this happened in 2018, the one that lingers etched in the memory is the one that was bowled in 2021 in a match at the Mecca of cricket which no one anticipated that Indian would draw let alone win.

If bowling a slower ball is an art, setting the batsman up is a work of an artist who is equivalent to Picasso. The match which had everything like a quintessential Bollywood movie was balanced in no one’s favour when “that” ball was bowled.

The protagonist, the artist, the Picasso being Jasprit Bumrah altering angles, running up and down, grinning and staring in the batsman’s face. This was Bumrah unleashed against a batsman who was persistent. While the first ball was bowled from usual over the wicket and a bouncer to push back Ollie Robinson, the second one was bowled full to assess the tenacity and the third to test his defence.

To outfox the batsman you want to think two stages ahead of him and that’s what Bumrah did and went around the wicket, bowled two bouncers to make the batsman sceptical and finally hit him with the unthinkable, against the run of play, ‘a slower bowl.’

Bumrah foxing Robinson on a slower ball (Image source: Screengrab/Twitter)
Bumrah foxing Robinson on a slower ball (Image source: Screengrab/Twitter)

With an open stance, 30 balls innings behind him and still some more to endure the onslaught, what Robinson didn’t realise was to pick the pace and the line of the ball and ultimately get out to a slower one.

The entire nation and the crowd in the stands went crazy with a lot of “oofs.” Robinson had a look as if he saw a ghoul. While the ghoul was only to live shortly, the ball that was bowled was no less than art & an art like that warrants a spot in history.

(By Vedant Vashist)

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