Men’s ODI WC: Knew the wicket was on the slower side so the hard lengths were the way, says Jasprit Bumrah

After playing a crucial hand in India’s comprehensive seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday, fast-bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah said the bowlers were aware that hard lengths was the way to go with the pitch being on slower side.

After playing a crucial hand in India’s comprehensive seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday, fast-bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah said the bowlers were aware that hard lengths was the way to go with the pitch being on slower side.

The charge of India’s third straight victory on a sluggish pitch with variable bounce was led by Bumrah’s intelligent variations and Kuldeep Yadav’s accurate wrist-spin fetching them figures of 2-19 and 2-35 respectively. Mohammed Siraj, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja also took two scalps each as India bowled out Pakistan for just 191 in 42.5 overs.

“It felt good. You get to analyse the wicket as soon as possible. We knew the wicket was on the slower side so the hard lengths were the way. We were trying to make it as difficult as possible for the batters. Just the awareness helps. When I was young I used to ask a lot of questions, so that has helped me develop a lot of knowledge. I like to read the wickets and try a lot of options,” said Bumrah in the post-match presentation ceremony, where he was given Player of the Match award in his first ODI on home ground.

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Bumrah’s miserly spell of 2-17 included a delightful off-cutter which came in sharply to go past Mohammad Rizwan’s inside edge and hit top of off-stump, something which will be in the mind of Indian viewers for some time.

He went on to castle Shadab Khan with a length ball which straightened off the pitch to hit top of off-stump, something which got him praise from legendary Pakistan fast-bowler Waqar Younis.

“I saw Jaddu’s ball was turning, so I count my slower ball as a spinner’s slower ball. I thought that can make the run-scoring tough, and it worked (against Rizwan). There was a little phase in there where there was reverse swing.”

“It was an outswinger (against Shadab); I was looking to ball but there was parts of reverse swing happening. I have seen him (Waqar Younis) and Wasim Akram bowl some magical deliveries in my younger days. So to get his nod is great,” he added.

India captain Rohit Sharma was mighty pleased by the efforts of bowlers on a sluggish Ahmedabad pitch which had variable bounce too. “The bowlers today as well set the game for us. Restricting them to 190 was a great effort. It was not a 190 pitch. At one stage we were looking at 280 or 290. Whoever gets the ball does the job for the team. We have got six individuals who can do the job. It cannot be everyone’s day every day. The person having a good day has to finish the job.”

Rohit also said identifying the bowler who can give you wickets and stem the run-flow is a key part of his job as the skipper. “My job as captain has to be important. Whoever is doing the job on the day I have to figure out who is doing the job and go with him. It’s only because the guys entering the World Cup got a lot of runs.”

“The role clarity as well was great. We knew what to do. Entering the WC we didn’t want to see what happened previously. We were very clear about what we wanted to do. The batters got the opportunity and made it count. The bowlers also did their job. Lots of five-fors.”

In chasing 192, India skipper Rohit Sharma smashed six fours and as many sixes en route to top-scoring with a scintillating 86 off 63 balls. With India now on top of points table with six points from three wins, Rohit reminded there is still a long way to go in the competition. India’s next match will be against Bangladesh at the MCA Stadium in Pune on October 19.

“I will keep my fingers crossed. We don’t want to get too excited and also not get too low as well. It is a long tournament, nine league games and then the semis and final. Just have to keep the balance and go forward.”

“I have said it before, for us it was an opposition (Pakistan) we wanted to play. Every opposition we come against they can beat you. We have to be good on that particular day. The past and future does not matter.”

Pakistan captain Babar Azam rued the batting collapse which caused their undoing against India. From cruising at 155-2, Pakistan lost eight wickets for just 36 runs in 13 overs in a shocking batting implosion, also their worst collapse for the last eight wickets in their history of playing in the Men’s ODI World Cup.

“We started well, good partnership. We just planned to play normal cricket and build partnerships. Suddenly there was a collapse and we could not finish well. Not good for us, the way we started, our target was 280-290 but the collapse cost us.”

“The total was not good. We are not up to the mark with the new ball. The way Rohit played, was an outstanding innings. We just tried to take wickets, but that didn’t happen,” he concluded.

(IANS)

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