When Ashish Nehra was hit for sixteen runs in the penultimate over of the England innings, India's hopes of making a comeback in the three-match T20I series that they trailed after a heavy loss in Kanpur, seemed minuscule. The hosts were staring at defeat with just eight runs needed off the final over and when an out-of-form Jasprit Bumrah was handed the ball, the visitors would have fancied their chances.
But Bumrah, who had conceded just three runs in his previous over, stumbled upon some rhythm just at the right moment. He sent Joe Root on his way on the very first ball of that crucial final over, albeit with a bit of help from the umpire, but little did he care as he had got exactly what he wanted.
"I was not thinking too much obviously because six balls, eight runs you feel the situation is in the batting team’s favour, so I was thinking if we get a wicket anything could happen as the wicket was on the slower side," Bumrah told BCCI.TV after the game.
With a new batsman at the crease and Jos Buttler struggling to read Bumrah's slower delivery, England were under pressure. The visitors required six runs from the last delivery and it was a daunting task against the Mumbai Indians bowler whose tail was up.
"It was more about the last ball as anything could have happened. After we came so close after eight runs were needed (off the last over) till six runs were needed off the last ball, so we were just thinking what were the options that I had, a lot of suggestions came up. There was a suggestion and I decided to bowl wide outside the off stump," revealed Bumrah after the game.
The young Indian pacer was bombarded with suggestions from every corner of the field during that final over, but he felt it was key to have a clear mind and pick what ball he was going to bowl, keeping in mind his strengths.
"I was trying to have a clear plan, stick to a basic plan that I have, trying to back my strengths because if you have double thoughts then it won’t work. So decided what ball to bowl and stuck to that. I was very happy that I was able to stick to my plans and back my strengths, I’m very happy that the result was in my favour," he added.
Bumrah drew praise from his partner Nehra as well, who compared his death bowling skills to that of Lasith Malinga, before calling him a "very important player" for the team.
"Bumrah is an excellent bowler and his speciality is bowling at death. Just like Malinga – he was an asset with the old ball. Bumrah has a slightly awkward action so a new batsman can't really pick him easily. He has a good slower one and a yorker. Bumrah is a very important player in this team, whether it's ODIs or T20s." Nehra said after the game.
The 23-year-old will now look to carry this momentum into the third and decisive T20I game in Bangalore. On a pitch that's been a batting paradise recently, Bumrah will once again look to be the difference between the two sides with his incisive bowling at the death.
Updated Date: Jan 30, 2017 16:40:21 IST