On Day 2 of the second Test, Jasprit Bumrah cemented his name in the annals of Indian cricket by becoming only the third Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket. "It could not have happened to a more special bowler," said Ian Bishop while he was commentating. Virat Kohli, whose masterstroke of a review got Bumrah his third wicket could not stop gushing on the stump mic. "What a bowler, man!" he said while his colleagues in the spin cordon appeared well-fed on an entertaining display of seam bowling from Bumrah.
While Bumrah is a rare talent with a rarer bowling action, with his hat-trick, he builds upon an already illustrious list which consists of Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan. While the off-spinner Harbhajan Singh had humbled Australia back in 2001, thus becoming the first Indian to take a Test hat-trick, it was Irfan Pathan who got the rare distinction of taking his hat-trick against arch-rivals Pakistan, in their backyard.
We take a look back at the three hat-tricks taken by Indians in Test cricket.
Harbhajan Singh (7/123)
The wily off-spinner achieved the feat in front of a jam-packed crowd which had thronged the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. In videos of the time, the rapturousness of the crowd seems like from another world altogether for today Test cricket is faced with the dilemma of sparse crowds and declining viewership. The match also marked India's stunning reversal in fortunes which saw them win the Test series 2-1 after having been hammered in the opening Test by 10 wickets in Mumbai.
Harbhajan's spell-binding off-spin bowling saw him claim 7 wickets in Australia's first innings of the match. The hat-trick accounted for the middle-order batsmen. First up, Singh negated the flight of the ball by bowling what seemed to be an arm-ball from over the wicket.
The ball pitched at good length and skidded thereon, keeping low. Ricky Ponting looked to flick it off his pads but was slow to bring his bat down as the ball caught him plumb in front of the wicket for an lbw. The crowd was enlivened with the dismissal and the middle overs of the first day of the Test match came alive.
The next ball, it was Adam Gilchrist who fell prey to Singh. Although, television replays did suggest that the ball had pitched outside leg and had caught the inside edge of Gilchrist's bat. Perhaps, it was the ceaseless appeal by the Indians and the frenzied atmosphere in the stadium which did the trick.
The Decision Review System (DRS) was a distant reality then and the umpires were gods who had to take tight calls in the spur of the moment. A contentious decision was taken by the on-field umpire and Gilchrist didn't make much of a fuss, leaving the field with a wry smile on his face. It was the Indians riding on the home advantage.
The next ball had the first of the Australian tail-enders, Shane Warne taking guard against one of his own kind. Harbhajan kept up with the exercise of not affording the ball much flight and hurrying the batsman into playing the shot. To Warne, he pitched it full and while the Australian showed the awareness of having moved across the crease, he wasn't expecting the full-length delivery.
Warne looked to flick the ball to the leg-side but the dipping ball caught the toe end of his bat and went to the short leg where Sadagoppan Ramesh took a one-handed stunner, capping off a historic hat-trick for Harbhajan Singh. The match itself was eventful as India pulled off a stunning turnaround. After being bundled for 171 in the first innings in reply to Australia's 445, India were asked to follow on. However, the home side posted a mammoth 657/7 in the second innings before dismissing Australia for 212 to win the Test by 171 runs and square the series 1-1. Harbhajan Singh played a massive role in the proceedings, fishing out another 6 wickets in Australia's second innings for his 10-wicket haul.
Irfan Pathan (5/61)
After having drawn the first two Tests, India jolted Pakistan with a menacing display of seam bowling in the first over of the third Test in Karachi. Irfan Pathan got the new ball and the hint of late-swing got India off the mark before Pakistan could get its first runs. Salman Butt played a lazy front-foot defence shot, his eyes not tracing the trajectory of the ball which did its trick after pitching at length, in line with the wicket before moving away. Butt edged the ball and Dravid caught one safely at second slip.
Then came, Younis Khan, the lynchpin of Pakistan's batting order in the absence of Inzamam ul-Haq. Pathan stuck to his plan of bowling in line with the wicket. The late-swing in the air had it nipping inwards, finding the gap between bat and pad while Khan looked to play the drive down the wicket. He was adjudged lbw and Pathan had restricted Pakistan to 0/2 in the first over of the innings itself.
The next ball, it was Mohammad Yousuf who was bowled by Pathan with an identical delivery, pitching at length with the inswing working its way between bat and pad and rattling the stumps. Yousuf had appeared in two minds, whether to play a shot or defend the ball and it was the indecisiveness and the task of staving off the bowler from claiming his hat-trick, which proved to be the cause of his undoing. Irfan Pathan went on to claim a five-wicket haul but India surprisingly lost the match by a massive 341 runs as the batting could never step up to the task.
Jasprit Bumrah (6/16 overnight)
Buoyed by their series win last year against England at home on pacey tracks, West Indies gave the go-ahead to their pitch curators to prepare similar tracks for the ongoing two-Test series against India. What was deemed to be a move at playing to one's strengths has now descended into being one of the home side's worst nightmares as Jasprit Bumrah has warmed up to the pitch conditions like no other.
As in the first Test, where Bumrah and Ishant skittled out the West Indies for just 100 in the second innings, the fast-bowler kept up the task of bowling in the right areas and letting the rest fall in place. That happens because of Bumrah's brilliant wrist and seam position which draws the ball to swing in the air before it moves away or inwards, just the tad bit after pitching.
The dismissals look like they are playing in a loop. Each one is similar in that it's the same cocktail of seam movement and express pace (Bumrah consistently bowls around the 85-90 mph mark) which leaves the West Indies batsmen resembling a row of traffic cones, waiting to be toppled.
On Saturday, Bumrah got his hat-trick in the ninth over of the West Indies innings. First up, it was Darren Bravo, who looked like he had made the mistake of blinking and there went his wicket. Bumrah came over the wicket, the ball pitched at length and moved away, grabbing the outside edge of Bravo's bat as he looked back and found the ball carrying safely into the second slip fielder, KL Rahul's hands.
The next ball, it was the right-hander Shamarh Brooks. The ball swung inwards from outside off before pitching at length and hitting Brooks' back pad. An ecstatic Indian slip cordon went up in appeal, coaxing a favourable decision from the on-field umpire. A review from the batsman was turned down, the replays showing that the ball would have hit the leg-stump.
The next ball, it was Roston Chase who took guard. The all-rounder is famous for his career-best 137 not out against India, three years back in Jamaica which had denied victory to the visitors. On Saturday though, Chase saw what had changed in the Indian bowling attack from three years back. It was that one crucial change, the coming in of Jasprit Bumrah which accounted for his wicket. Bumrah stuck to his guns and got the ball to swing in by a foot it seemed, from outside off. A change in length from the previous delivery, this one was pitched fuller, did the trick.
Chase had made the mistake of moving a bit too across and caught himself in a tangle. As he looked to bring his bat down, it caught his back pad instead. The ball, by then, had rapped him on his front pad, below the knee roll. A loud appeal was turned down and Bumrah was convinced that the ball was going down the leg side. However, Virat Kohli, not letting the naysayers around him dampen his excitement, went for a review straight away.
It felt like he had lost a review in his over-excitement but the replays showed otherwise. The ball would have gone on to hit the leg stump cleanly, not letting the umpire's call spoil the party. Bumrah got his hat-trick with Kohli helping him carve his name in history. Post the day's play, it was the fast-bowler who credited the Indian captain for getting him his hat-trick.
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