“Many people told me that I won’t play for long, there was an expectation that the last person to play for the country would be me. They told me that I would just play the Ranji Trophy. But I kept on improving and I persisted with my action.” said Jasprit Bumrah in his conversation with Yuvraj Singh during his Insta live chat.
The world has always been unfair to the beginners.
This Gujarat born fast bowler started his career with lots of negative talks about his action.
But champions are known for fighting back!
The Mumbai Indians pacer raged back and came out as a storm when he came under right guidance and exposure.
What he has become now has revealed his strong character that shatters out all the questions that were kept in front of him.
Above all, his unorthodox bowling action is the talk of the cricket world over a long period.
The debatable bowling action has turned into the greatest weapon, and it has turned many untouched stones in bowling.
The most common questions that arise on this famous bowler are
- What makes Bumrah so unique and unpredictable?
- What’s the theory behind Bumrah’s unorthodox bowling action?
To get those answered, Let’s get into the breakdown of the unorthodox bowling techniques of Jasprit Jasbirsingh Bumrah in this following article. Also, included in this article are what few legendary cricketers has to say on Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling action.
Bumrah’s bowling action analysis
We will look in to the factors involved in Jasprit Bumrah’s unorthodox bowling action, one by one, starting with his short run-up.
Momentum through run-up
A short run-up that is accompanied by a dramatic jump at the last moment before the release creates the momentum for a ‘Bumrah’s delivery’.
Despite his short run-up, the amount of speed he could bring on his delivery has always astonished everyone.
In fact, it is his abnormal run-up that creates a jolt for the batsmen, which doesn’t allow them to adapt for the unconvincing tackle.
This is out and out a ‘Bumrah’s precious ability’ which no other bowler can bring in for every ball.
On the whole, It’s his quick hands and strong shoulder along with the well balanced front foot that helps Bumrah to produce more than a sufficient pace in the midst of the ground.
This is what Bumrah told about the reason behind his short run-up during a video chat organised by the International Cricket Council with former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop and former South African captain Shaun Pollock.
” Playing in the backyard. My run-up is because of that as we didn’t have so much space, so this (8 step run up) is the longest that you could have had, maybe this could have been the case. I have tried longer run-ups and nothing changes, speed is still the same so why to run so much.”
The JumpEmbed from Getty Images
The run-up cannot be the only contributor for the raging speed he bowls.
So obviously the jump before he bowls has something to do with the pace production, according to Bumrah’s body science.
Indeed, the jump becomes a momentum creator for the quick shoulders and legs that used to have a massive energy flow while releasing the ball.
What’s more interesting is by the end of the jump, both the hands come to a certain point at the same time, which is what bemuses the batsmen.
Check what Sir Vivian Richards had to say about Bumrah’s bowling action:
“Batsmen sometimes get themselves into an uncomfortable position against Bumrah and do not have time or rhythm to work with. It is because he is so unorthodox. It’s unusual that both his hands go up at the same time. If he were an English bowler, they would have told him, “You have got to bowl like this or be like that”. But to me, his unorthodoxy is a huge advantage.”
The ReleaseEmbed from Getty Images
Unlike the other fast bowlers, the release of the ball from Bumrah does happen in front of his front foot landing.
And the ball comes from a very high arm position, which in turn, gives a significant advantage in the accuracy which Bumrah hits consistently.
Addedly, the ball releases from the line of his body creates a natural pathway for the inswingers to the right-handed batters.
This seems an uncommon source from a fast bowler that involves the utmost flexibility from the spine and legs.
What Bumrah does at the point of release is a general push to the ball. This push adds a bit more speed by bringing in the wrist work.
The push is either made by the middle finger or the index finger.
Bumrah uses his middle finger to push when he bowls inswingers for the right-handers.
And, the index finger, accompanied by the push from the wrist manufactures the outswingers against his action.
Curtly Ambrose, one of the legendary fast bowlers the game has ever seen, has high praise for the Indian youngster.
“Look at everything else he does, he’s classical. He moves two balls into the batsmen, and the other one goes away. Then two away from him, and then one into him. This is how we did, this is how fast bowlers have operated over the years. But the best one knows how, where and when to bowl. And Bumrah seems to have this awareness, which usually takes a lot of time to develop, a lot of experience. But how old is he? How many Tests has he played? He’s a quick learner, isn’t he?”
Too much of tennis ball cricket in childhood has let this resource creep inside Jasprit Bumrah.
The Follow-throughEmbed from Getty Images
Bumrah is not another fast bowler who generates speed from a long run-up, but the one who produces power with a jump and a release.
Considering the fact, the follow-through has to be a difficult job to restrict a massive flow of energy all of a sudden.
In that case, the Indian pacer manages it by bringing his bowling arm in between his legs, and he would be seen in an unbalanced position at a certain point and eventually comes back to the normal state through his follow through to run-up.
At his initial stage of career, Bumrah doesn’t possess natural swing because he releases the ball in a hard way.
In order to overcome it, the Mumbai Indians bowler created a natural angle to make a slanting line for the ball to travel, which started troubling the batsmen’s defence.
By means of creating the angle, Bumrah started bowling from over the wicket for the right-handers and around the wicket for the lefties.
As a result, Bumrah’s slanting line became a questionnaire for the batsmen.
How Bumrah makes use of the bowling crease?Embed from Getty Images
If using the crease is an art, Bumrah is an artist in it.
The Indian pacer makes use of the crease to his natural strength.
It is well known that Bumrah can produce the natural inswinging angle for right-handers. To make it more effective, he uses the full crease to bowl for right-handers, which ended up creating a bigger slanting line for the ball.
When it comes to left-handers, Bumrah wasn’t performing effective inswingers as he does for right-handers. So he bowls from around the wicket.
And he prefers bowling close from the stump to contribute to the stump line deliveries for the lefties.
The improvisation of seam work opened up lots of options for the Gujarati born bowler.
In turn, Bumrah started to enjoy the new ball’s effect along with his seam work. Bumrah felt that bowling from over the wicket with the new ball could be more productive. And he started executing it.
Because, it can either take a slight deviation from the pitch and go towards the left-handed batsman or hold the line and go outside off stump.
Both ways, it brings challenges for the lefties.
This approach from Bumrah made him a nightmare for the left-handed batsmen too.
A special thanks to John Wright for finding us the Yorker man of India.
Bumrah has completely changed the image of the Indian bowling attack and sets the demand high for the upcoming fast bowlers.
No matter what experts or others have to say on his injury-prone bowling action, the fast bowler stuck with his own bowling action.
Bumrah shows us how important it is to celebrate the uniqueness for every individual. He is a life lesson which tells us how strong we have to stick on with our skillset.
The kind of flexibility and power that resides in his body can pull off miracles with ease in future.
Jasprit Bumrah – A bag filled with energy and intelligence.
Cricketer. Budding Writer. Blogs at CricIndeed.com