Jasprit Bumrah made his India debut in 2016 and his Test debut two years later in South Africa. Since then, he has grown to be one of the best, if not the best, all-format pacers the sport has ever seen - meandering past the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Kagiso Rabada.
But there hasn’t been a day since his debut for India that he has left all sundry surprised with what more he can do. Case in point - his bowling performance in the first Test in Hyderabad, where his mean reverse swing left England searching for answers. In Visakhapatnam, he took the challenge to a new level, bagging six wickets on a lifeless wicket.
"In first-class cricket, if you wanna take wickets in India, you've got to learn reverse swing,” Bumrah said in the press conference after Saturday’s play in Visakhapatnam.
“Probably, I learnt reverse swing before I learnt conventional swing. You play a lot of cricket on slow wickets, you understand what you need to do over here. You have to find a way. You need to figure out the areas you want to hit. In the nets, you practice all those skills and then try and execute the same in matches.
"When you play abroad, you know the wickets will assist, so the number of overs will be more. Over here, I have played less number of Test matches but I have played a lot of first-class cricket. So I go back to those days and think, what do I do to get wickets, back my ability, try to find answers. Whenever I play a game, I always try to find to answers to the questions in my mind."
Particularly interesting was the dismissal of India’s Hyderabad tormentor, Ollie Pope, with an inswinging yorker. So devastating was the ball that it would be replayed over and over again as a tutorial on how to bowl on flat wickets. But Bumrah put it down to his execution of the delivery rather than the ball having any magical touch to it.
"The ball was relatively hard and reversing. So when the ball is reversing, you don't need to bowl magical deliveries every ball. You don't go inswing outswing every ball. So I bowled a few away-going deliveries, then I was thinking, what should I bowl next? Should it be a length delivery coming in or should I go for a Yorker? I hadn't bowled a yorker till then, so decided to go with the yorker. It did swing a lot, the execution was good so very happy.”
But that was one of his best deliveries ever? In true, Jasprit Bumrah fashion, the pacer deflected that question as if he wanted to say - “Picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost”.
But he instead said, "I'm still playing, so hopefully more deliveries will come as I said, I'm very happy as it was very important to get Joe Root and Ollie Pope out at that point.”