Having clinched his second wicket-haul in just his fourth Test for India, the admirable Jasprit Bumrah has said that it is the hard work done behind the scenes in strive to play at the highest level, that is paying off huge dividends for him.
Bumrah is not a conventional swing bowler and was out due to the most untimely thumb injury from the first two Tests, but boy he has a brain well above his young age.
On Day 4, having seen England hurting 64/4, India couldn't strike as quickly as they would've liked because of a brilliant partnership between Jos Buttler(106) and Ben Stokes(62). This is when Jasprit came into his own, he got Buttler to misjudge one coming in, as he shouldered arms to be given out LBW and then, Jonny Bairstow received one of the best seam balls one could get first up. It was bowled full and in, but just when Bairstow played it straight like he is supposed to the middle-stump line, it moved away and crashed on to his stumps.
He finished off his five-fer by taking Woakes and Broad too, having got Root out caught behind very early in the first session.
"When I made my first-class debut, my first spell was of 10 overs, so I was always used to bowling a lot of overs in the Ranji Trophy, That always helps. When I was injured, I was working on my fitness. I was always in touch with my trainers so that whenever I came here I would be in good shape." Bumrah was quoted saying at the press conference, "In white ball cricket things are different, Over there you try to outsmart batsmen, but here in Test cricket, it's all about patience and consistency. That was my main focus today. You can't blast the batsmen out. I was looking to bowl good lengths and always challenge batsmen with good lengths and lines."
Bumrah is also quite optimistic that India won't be denied a well deserving win on Day 5, where they need just 1 wicket to halve down the series deficit.
"As far as you get the desired result, you are very happy, We always had the belief today that if we keep on applying pressure, sometime or the other we will get the result. The second new ball, because of the new seam, it was seaming a bit more than the older ball. That was helping as well. We were just trying to get one wicket, not to look too far ahead and just take one wicket at a time then everything will follow." he said.
Talking about his brilliant spell with the sun out in the final session, Bumrah is especially delighted having got Jos Buttler out.
"We've played together for MI in the IPL, so I've bowled a little bit to him in the nets, but not a lot. It's always an interesting competition because he's an attacking player. If he gets a good start, he keeps on going and it could create problems." he said and added, "I was just focusing on my strengths, what has worked for me before. I've got him out 2-3 times in the IPL as well and in the nets as well. I have a clear plan, a clear head and a clear space of mind."
"I was injured but I was able to bowl in the nets. Even when I was back home, I was trying to train in the gym, whatever I could do, maybe run on the treadmill. But I was always keeping an eye on what both teams were doing in the first two Tests, what works over here that suits my bowling. I was just trying to keep an eye and replicate that in the nets sessions. It usually takes time because it doesn't matter how many overs you bowl in the nets. Match feel is always different. Try to get into the groove pretty quickly, that was my basic aim." he concluded.
(Inputs from SPORTSTAR Live)