Jasprit Bumrah wreaked havoc to claim six wickets as India wrapped up Australia's first innings on 151 on day three of the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday.
In reply to India’s massive first innings total of 443/7 (declared), Australia were placed at 8/0 after the end of the second day. However, Bumrah ripped through Australia's top, middle and lower order to ensure a massive 292-run lead for the visitors.
Marcus Harris (22), Shaun Marsh (19), Travis Head (20), Tim Paine (22), Nathan Lyon (0) and Josh Hazlewood (0) were Bumrah’s victims. Although all his wickets were special, the dismissal that stood out the most was of Marsh as he trapped the Aussie southpaw with an unplayable slower delivery right before the lunch.
Bumrah deceived Marsh in the air with a 113 kmph ball, much slower than his usual 140+ kmph ones, that hit Marsh straight on the pads. The batsman was left stunned seeing a T20-like delivery in the traditional format.
Speaking to cricket.com.au after the end of third day’s play, Bumrah credited teammate Rohit Sharma for suggesting him to bowl the slower delivery.
"When I was bowling before lunch, the wicket was not doing a lot and the ball had become soft. Rohit was there at mid-off and he said, 'it's the last ball, you could try a slower ball'. He told me that I use it quite a lot in white-ball cricket and I could still try it,” Bumrah quoted.
"The execution was good and we got a wicket off the last ball. (I have to thank Rohit) for the suggestion, obviously. The wicket is on the slower side and sometimes the batsmen play with hard hands, so (the slower ball) could come into play. So that was the plan," he added.
Bumrah’s bowling figures of 6/33 in 15.5 overs also made him the Asian bowler to take five-wicket hauls in Australia, England and South Africa in the same calendar year. With 45 wickets to his name, he is now India's joint leading wicket-taker in Tests in 2018 along with Mohammad Shami.
Jasprit Bumrah (17 scalps) is currently the joint highest wicket-taker in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy with Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon. The Indian speedster had also bowled fiercely and with discipline in both Adelaide and Perth.