Shubman Gill displayed his top form, confidently dispatching pacers Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, and Prasidh Krishna for towering sixes.However, Gill had to exercise caution as Bumrah challenged his abilities with a variety of slower deliveries and deliveries aimed at the off-stump channel.
While it was indeed an optional net session, Bumrah didn’t let up on his intensity even for a single moment. The entire 20 minutes he spent bowling in the nets provided a valuable insight into his approach for the ongoing World Cup.
Unlike the eye-catching performances of Mohammed Shami, who has been in the spotlight for his exceptional 16-wicket haul in the last two weeks across four matches.
Shami is an apex predator, zooming in on the stumps and hunting for wickets all the time. Perhaps, no other contemporary bowler hit the timber as often as him.
But Bumrah has a totally different philosophy, something that will thrill the connoisseurs more. He likes to build up pressure with dot balls and draw batsmen into mistakes.
Check this piece of statistics. Bumrah has an economy of 3.65 across eight matches and it is the best among bowlers who have played at least two games in this World Cup.
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In this showpiece, the average run-rate in the first Power Play (1-10 overs) hovers around six, but Bumrah’s economy stands at a thrifty 2.9 during this phase.
It is like a python grip. He just doesn’t give any breathing space to the batters just as he had restricted a free-flowing Gill on this day at nets.
Perhaps, being the leader of the pack prompts Bumrah not to chase wickets but him building pressure at one end allows the likes of Shami or Kuldeep Yadav to feed on that.
It is not that Bumrah is incapable of moments of magic. He can bring out that dreaded yorker at will, like the one crashed on to the base of Bangladesh batter Mahmudullah’s stumps like a heat-seeking missile.
Pakistan batter Mohammad Rizwan might never forget how a slow ball deceived him and disturbed the stumps.
However, Bumrah has not been in pursuit for such moments, as he has a more lofty, selfless job to do, and if he has been a footballer then the pacer would have been happy providing endless assists.
Netherlands is a cozy middle-of the-road destination for him, but if his purposefulness at nets is of any indication then the Dutch might experience that vice-like Bumrah grip.
India’s optional nets
Ahead of their final league match against Netherlands here on Sunday, the Indian team returned to the field for an optional net session.
Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shami and Kuldeep Yadav restricted themselves to the hotel room while others went through their strides here at the Chinnaswamy stadium.
The Indian team had reached the city on Tuesday after defeating South Africa by 243 runs at Kolkata and enjoyed an off day. The Rohit Sharma-led team also became the first team to reach the semifinals of the World Cup.
(With PTI Inputs)