Our bowling is holding up in Malinga’s absence: Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah has come a long way since he first made heads turn in IPL 2013 as a rough diamond discovered by the Mumbai Indians. He has now played for India 17 times, toured Australia and been part of the World Twenty20. In VIVO IPL 2016, Bumrah is no more a raw commodity and his team has a great deal of expectations from him. Especially in the absence of Lasith Malinga, Bumrah and the other pacers at MI share an added responsibility.

On the eve of MI’s home game against Kolkata Knight Riders, the 22-year old pacer said the team’s bowling attack minus Malinga is holding on its own.“Malinga is a world-class bowler, so you always miss him. But we have been doing well as a bowling attack. Mitchell McClenaghan has been doing really well for us and so is Tim Southee,” Bumrah said.

At MI, Bumrah has rubbed shoulders with various ace pacers, including Mitchell Johnson and Zaheer Khan, picking their head and adding to his bowling armoury. Now he has Shane Bond by his side as MI’s bowling coach, and Bumrah said he is learning various things from the Kiwi speedster.

“I try to learn from everybody. I have learnt a lot from Mitchell Johnson, Malinga, Zaheer Khan. Whenever I am with a senior bowler, I ask a lot of questions. I don’t have a particular role-model. I try to learn from every senior bowler who has played international cricket.

“I have picked up a lot from Shane Bond. During practice he helps me form my bowling plans. Given his experience, he gives me a lot of input on how to deal with pressure situations. He has been a very helpful hand in our team for all the bowlers.

After India’s victorious T20I series in Australia earlier this year, captain MS Dhoni described Bumrah as the ‘Find of the tour’ for his amazing ability to bowl yorkers at the death. It is his USP as a bowler and Bumrah says he works really hard on that delivery to be able to bowl it consistently in a match.

“You cannot master anything, but I try to practice and then execute it. You cannot be successful with only one kind of delivery. I try to mix my pace when I use the yorker. I used to play a lot of tennis ball cricket as a kid and over there you have to bowl yorkers most of the time. That’s probably the reason why I bowl that delivery so often. It is a very difficult delivery to bowl, I have to practice it continuously.

“The use of that delivery also depends on the batsman. Some of them play the yorker really well, others are more comfortable with the slower one. We plan for every batsman in our bowlers’ meeting, watch videos and come up with tactics accordingly,” Bumrah said.

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