Jasprit Bumrah’s fate on Monday reminded me of the Pakistani fast bowlers of our time. There is a similarity to Wasim Akram. Bumrah, too, presses the drummers, not only in their punches, but also in their set-up.
When you start playing against a fast bowler from a young age, a certain setup is internalized. You would expect a fast launcher to come in at least 25 yards. You settle in accordingly. But when players like Akram and Bumrah bowl (from a much shorter run) a batsman’s routine in terms of setting up, supporting / adjusting his technique is disrupted. It is not about having difficulty choosing the line. It’s about having a smaller margin of error and less time.
The basic characteristics of Bumrah’s spell were rhythm and control. He was brilliantly precise, thanks to his balance. And he played at perfect speed. When he knocked the ball over, he extracted maximum advantage.
In reverse swing, the faster you are, the more efficient you become. You need 140 km / h minimum to move the late ball. If you play slower, the air revolution on the ball starts early, giving the batsmen time to pick the swing and adjust accordingly. Also, for the reverse swing, you need to fill the bowl for the air revolution to take effect late. Bumrah drove at the right pace, well over 140 km / h, and full. Fast bowlers in the subcontinent learn the art of reverse swing at a very early age, due to the abrasive conditions in our part of the world. Previously, the fast Indian bowlers didn’t have the rhythm to optimally reverse the ball.
Bumrah is a complete melon. He’s got a fantastic bouncer, a great yorker, and even with the new ball he moves the ball back and forth. It’s a difficult skill to master. In conventional swing, you have to control the seam. It is a very difficult art. In reverse swing, the ball will move to the shiny side and the degree of swing will not vary.
As a fast pitcher, he’s different, but not flawed. In fact, from its delivery stride to load and release, it’s 101 percent perfect.
Complete fast player
The fundamental aspect of its action is momentum. You need the right momentum when you hit the crease. There is no point in running 40 yards, but when you hit the crease your momentum is lost. When Bumrah is about to hit the crease, he’s as quick as anyone. He walks, walks and walks, and suddenly picks up the pace, just what it takes. His last three steps before reaching the crease are as fast and strong as anyone. And these three steps are vital.
The second most important aspect is the landing. A right arm pitcher lands on his right foot and then shifts weight to the left leg. Thus, the left leg also becomes important, the moment the weight is transferred to it.
When it comes time to release the ball, the most important thing is the production of energy. For a fast pitcher, body power is 20 percent. The rest is the land force. When it comes time to let go, what we look at a bowler is how well their foot is planted from left heel to toe. If your foot is perfectly planted, you are using optimal ground force. Your front knee follows and should be straight as a stick. This allows the ground force to enter your limbs. If your knee collapses, you are wasting energy. Bumrah does it all perfectly.
When he is about to release the ball, his right arm and shoulder are at 90 degrees. His right arm is parallel to his shoulder and his forearm tucks into his (left) ribs. The generation of rhythm depends on how well you lock your front arm into your ribs. The department he uses from loading to delivery is the notebook. Don’t watch how he approaches the fold. The end product is perfect. Very few fast bowlers use their size so well. Very little weight transfer so easily.
From momentum to liberation, Bumrah’s whole approach is completely linear, using his energy in a righteous direction. This gives it more power. For me he has the best stock in the business.
(As said to Shamik Chakrabarty)