Guwahati: The forced four-month break due to a stress fracture "wasn't a difficult" period for India's pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah as there was "no pain" and he utilised the time away from the game to work on his strength and conditioning.
Bumrah is making a comeback to competitive cricket against Sri Lanka in the opening T20I on Sunday.
"It was not difficult for me as I was never in pain. Not even for a single day. I took it as an opportunity to build my strength," Bumrah told bcci.tv after his first training session with the team.
He was always updated about how the team was progressing and did his homework so that he is not found wanting once he is back in action.
"I was always keeping a track on what is happening so when you are back in the team, you shouldn't be too far away."
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 3, 2020
The 26-year-old pacer felt that playing all three formats continuously did affect his fitness, for which the break was necessary.
"When you play continuously, your strength level goes down. Your fitness level can also go down a little bit. So I was looking at how to bring the strength back, how to improve upon the things I wanted to improve."
"So take some time off and return fresh. Be hungry again. So all these things were on top of my mind. I am not looking too far ahead. I wanted to take one match at a time," said Bumrah.
Bumrah feels that if one plays regularly, it becomes difficult to remain "hungry".
"Initially what happened, I was playing a lot of cricket and it was very difficult to manage the hunger. I was playing regularly. Then I got a break and after that, I felt like 'now you want to play as soon as possible'. You are always eager but you don't want to rush into things."
Bumrah thanked the Indian support staff for consistently keeping a tab on his rehabilitation work and giving their valuable inputs.
"Very good inputs (from bowling coach Bharat Arun). I was always in touch with the support staff. The team management also kept on asking me what was going on and how was I progressing. Constant monitoring was going on. They asked questions like what do you want to do now that you are back from break."
Bumrah was satisfied with his first complete training session under lights on Friday evening.
"The intensity was very good, very high intensity, to the point where you do exactly what you wanted to do."
"At the fielding session, we covered all bases, we did the high catches, we did the run-out practice. And in the nets, we did spot bowling, practised bowling yorkers. We ticked all the boxes," he added.
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