Bumrah's IPL bowling coach explains what makes India star so special
India fast bowler Jasprit ‘Boom’ Bumrah starred on fourth Test’s final day against England… now his IPL bowling coach explains what makes his unorthodox action so special – and so difficult to play against!
- Jasprit Bumrah led India to a brilliant victory on the final day of the fourth Test
- The fast bowler’s prolific spell after lunch led to England’s downfall on Monday
- Sportsmail spoke to his bowling coach at the Mumbai Indians about his action
- Shane Bond insists Bumrah’s unusual action did not need tampering with
It is fitting that a bowler known as ‘Boom’ was the man to blow a hole in England’s ambitions of winning the Test series against India.
Jasprit Bumrah’s searing yorkers on day five at the Oval led India to a first win in south London since 1971.
The 27-year-old’s run-up may resemble a dressage horse being put through its paces and his bowling arm may not come through at a classical angle, but the fastest Indian pace bowler to 100 Test wickets has illustrated that you don’t need a purist’s action to be successful on the biggest stage.
Jasprit Bumrah won the fourth Test for India with a brilliant spell after lunch on day five
The India fast bowler celebrates after his yorker bowled England batsman Jonny Bairstow
A fact that Shane Bond, Bumrah’s bowling coach at the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League for the past seven years, knows only too well.
‘We’ve had seven years together and you get to know someone pretty well,’ Bond tells Sportsmail.
‘He was this wiry, scrawny kid who had just come off a knee reconstruction and didn’t play more than a couple of games in my first season (in the IPL). The next thing he’s playing for India and he’s now one of the best in the world.
‘There are certain things in his action that make him unique and that’s also what makes him so great. People mention his run-up and it’s probably too loose a term to actually call it that, it’s more of a stuttering walk.’
And although Bond laughs as he admits to sometimes mimicking Bumrah’s idiosyncrasies in Mumbai’s IPL warm-ups — to the weary amusement of the player — he has never felt the need to tamper with his action.
‘Often when he’s warming-up I’ll imitate him and throw the ball back. He just looks at me and shakes his head,’ Bond says.
Bumrah’s mannerisms were seen in full during his spells in The Oval heat on Monday. He may only have picked up two wickets — bursting through the defences of Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow to turn the game in India’s favour after lunch — but his 22 overs went for just 27 runs as he kept the pressure on.
Bumrah’s 22 overs went for just 29 runs as he kept the pressure up on the hosts at the Oval
It was the perfect demonstration of why Bumrah is both the key man in Virat Kohli’s bowling attack and one of the hardest bowlers to face in international cricket.
‘He has these amazing supple wrists so he can move it around, which gives him the ability to swing the ball,’ says Bond.
‘And his bowling position, most people deliver it here (Bond lifts his bowling hand up parallel with his ear), whereas he delivers it way out in front of him so the batsman has less time to adapt.
‘That makes his bouncer so difficult to see. Most other bowlers will use a method that’s distinguishable — he just flicks the wrist and whammo, it’s on you. That’s why he hurries guys up.’
There’s often an accusation that young bowlers in England are over-coached, that anyone with an action out of the ordinary is immediately targeted for remedial work. Even Jimmy Anderson was on the receiving end of some action tinkering early in his career. For Bond, though, there’s no right or wrong way to bowl. Only effective or ineffective methods.
Bumrah certainly turned the tide in India’s favour and will look to do the same at Old Trafford
‘In terms of his action, we’ve never really tinkered around with it,’ he says. ‘We’ve talked about where he bowls on the crease but how he bowls makes him brilliant to work with.
‘That’s what I find most interesting about bowling. I have parents call me and say, “Can you look at my son’s action and tell me if it’s good or not?”. I’m like, I’ve been lucky enough to work with (Trent) Boult, (Lasith) Malinga, (Mitchell) Johnson, (Mitchell) McClenaghan to Bumrah — all these guys are so different but all awesome.
‘You realise, it’s not about how it looks and you only need to change a bowler’s action if it’s not causing problems for batters at the other end. I would say that wasn’t an issue for those blokes I’ve listed, so why would you go and alter it?’
With the final Test starting on Friday, it’s England’s fortunes that are in need of a change.
The bad news for Joe Root’s side is that the metronomic Bumrah will pick up at Old Trafford from where he left off at The Oval.
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