With his spell of 6-3-6-2 in the post-lunch session, Jasprit Bumrah along with Jadeja changed the match drastically as England went from 141-2 to 147-6. In this process, Bumrah produced an outstanding display of reverse swing bowling as he uprooted the stumps of Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow. Bumrah picked up his 100th wicket in Test cricket during this spell. In this piece, we look at his stats against his opponents away from home, and how effective he has been.
Bumrah debuted on Jan 5, 2018, against South Africa – he has played a total of 24 Test matches and only played two at home. He has been India’s spearhead and the leader of one of the best pace attacks in Test cricket right now. 88 of his wickets have been against the SENA countries. 97 of his 101 wickets are away from home. Such great stats has enabled him to become India’s quickest pace bowler to reach 100 wickets in 24 games, one less than the legendary Kapil Dev.
Bumrah has done well against all the countries, except against New Zealand where has only six wickets in three matches with a very high strike rate of nearly 100. His role in India’s two series victories down under has been exceptional. Leading wicket-taker in 2018 with 21 wickets, and 13 wickets in three test matches in 2020/21. The stats against South Africa will further improve when India tour South Africa in 2021/22.
Test matches allow a fast bowler to have different roles within a team. A player can be a good swing bowler and be effective against the top order. Someone else can exploit the old ball with reverse swing and create a challenge for the middle order. In the last decade removing the tail-enders has become a challenge in itself. We can say Bumrah has mastered most of the skills required to bowl in any Test match scenario through the stats. He is effective with the new bowl, picking 30% of his wickets against the top order. He can be quick and also exploit the old ball with some reverse swing, and thus has picked up most of the wickets against the middle order. His different action makes it much more difficult for the batters. Bumrah is one of the best T-20 bowlers and has those variations in this artillery. His slow yorker against Shaun Marsh in the 2018/19 series proves his tactical brilliance just at the stroke of lunch.
Since Bumrah’s debut in Jan 2018, he along with Umesh Yadav, M Shami and I Sharma have become a potent bowling unit, and have challenged the likes of the Australian and England pace bowling attack. Though playing 22/24 tests away from home has an advantage in this stats analysis where he has picked the most number of wickets away from home. Since his debut, no other opposition bowler comes even close to the number of wickets on away soil. India’s Shami and Sharma are 2nd and 3rd. These stats also show that Bumrah has taken the pressure front on when it comes to delivering away from home.
Bumrah had figures of 5/7 against West Indies in the 1st Test match in 2019 and followed it up with a hattrick in the 2nd Test match. 6/33 in the boxing day Test match at MCG in 2018 has been one of his best bowling displays in his three-year career. Two fifers each against England and West and one each against Australia and South Africa, has been some of his notable performances. Bumrah has dismissed the current no.1 Test batsman a total of six times in 16 innings.
Jasprit Bumrah is currently 10th in ICC’s Men’s Test Bowling rankings and India’s 2nd best ranking after R.Ashwin. With one more Test match to go and with his form, there are high chances of Bumrah going up the ranks. Bumrah’s unique action and his ability to quickly pick up things have made him the Indian pace bowling unit leader. The fact that it also has Ishant Sharma, who made his test debut for India in 2007, shows the real quality of Jasprit Bumrah.
He has come a long way, making his name in the cricket world through IPL, from debuting for India in 2016 in the white-ball format to pick up his 100th Test wicket. India needs to be a little careful in managing his workload with his chances of injury being a little higher than your normal fast bowler. India’s spin domination at home Test matches and the availability of other quality fast bowlers, it will be India’s best interest to play him most at away Test matches, white-ball format, and as little as possible on Indian soil to see him bowl those magical spells for a long time and help India conquer on foreign soil.