India pacer Jasprit Bumrah has attributed his quick return from an injury and the subsequent second five-wicket haul in Test cricket to the hard work he does away from the camera and fitness regime.
Bumrah took 5-85 as England were reduced to 311 for nine nine in pursuit of the 521-run target with formalities delayed until day five of the third Test against India.
“When I made my First-Class debut, my first spell was of 10 overs. So I was always used to bowling lot of overs in Ranji Trophy, which always helps. That helped me today as well,” he said.
“When I was injured I was working on my fitness and my training schedules. I was always in touch with our trainers so that whenever I come (back) I should be in good space. All of that helps today,” added Bumrah.
This was the seamer’s second five-wicket haul in Test cricket, an effort that paved the way for India’s comeback in the series after trailing 0-2.
“You don’t get anything easy. You have to work for it. We work hard. That hard work makes you successful on days like these. The hard work we do away from the camera is what bears results on days like these,” he said.
England were reduced to 62 for four at one stage before a 169-run partnership between Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes rescued the hosts for nearly the next two sessions.
“In white-ball cricket things are different over there you outsmart the batsman, and over 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 the batsmen with good lengths and good line. So in the end it was a good day. I got the edge (off Root).”
Bumrah said he enjoyed his contest with both Joe Root and Buttler, adding that consistency is the key to bowling in these conditions.
“We’ve played together for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, so I’ve bowled a little bit to him (Buttler) in the nets, but not a lot. It’s always an interesting competition because he’s an attacking player. He’s an important player for their team as well. If he gets a good start, he keeps on going and it could create problems.
“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 was just focusing on that, what has helped me when I was bowling to him. I have a clear plan, a clear head and a clear space of mind.”
Talking about bowling attacking angles to both left and right-handed batsmen, the pacer added, “My focus is to always enjoy and bowl good lines and lengths. Test cricket is all about consistency and patience. In one-day cricket, you outsmart the batsmen. Here it’s all about consistency. It doesn’t matter if I bowl to a left-hander or a right-hander.”
Buttler went on to score his maiden Test hundred while Stokes scored his slowest half-century as the second session went wicketless.
Then, Bumrah ushered in a collapse with the second new ball, and completed his five-wicket haul before Adil Rashid and James Anderson took the game into day five.
“We were happy that even when the ball got older we were still bowling good lines and good lengths. The movement was less as soon as the sun came out. It got better to bat on. We always had the belief 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. I was focussing on that. We were just trying to get one wicket, not to look too far ahead.”
“It doesn’t matter (if we win on day four or five). As far as you get the desired result, you are very happy,” said Bumrah.
KL Rahul took his tally to seven catches in the match, and overall the Indian slip cordon gave a good performance as compared to England.
Additionally, Bumrah spoke about the inputs he received from coach Bharat Arun in preparation for his Test comeback.
“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 focusing and keeping an eye on what works over here that suits my bowling.
“I was just focusing on that, keeping an eye on what both teams were doing in the first two games — what’s helping them, and what is successful here. I was just trying to keep an eye and replicate that in the nets sessions.
“Try to get into the groove pretty quickly – that was my basic aim,” he signed off.