But, in this game, I was backing my game and I had the belief I could bowl a good over.In the earlier game (against Rajasthan Royals), I was backing my plan but I was not able to execute it.
Jasprit Bumrah conceded just five runs in his first two overs. When he came back to bowl the 17th over, Kings XI Punjab needed 42 runs off 24 balls. Bumrah removed the well-set Aaron Finch and new man Marcus Stoinis in the space of just five balls to bring Mumbai Indians back in the game. In the following over bowled by Ben Cutting, KL Rahul played a swivelling pull and two reverse-swipes to bring the equation down to 23 runs off 12. Bowling the 19th over, Bumrah produced another dream effort by dismissing Rahul and conceding just six runs. With 17 runs to play, there was no Mitchell McClenaghan was going to allow MI to lose this one. He bowled well as we won by three runs. But the start of the evening was Bumrah. Returns of 4-0-15-3 are worth their weight in gold.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Bumrah spoke at length of bowling with clarity. A few days ago, he lost the plot when Jos Buttler went great guns. But on Wednesday, it was Bumrah’s turn to come up trumps. “I was focusing on what I had to do. See, on a good day, when you have a clear plan, you’ll be able to execute what you want. So, on a good day, it worked for me. On some days, it doesn’t work. I don’t look what has happened before or what will happen in future. My focus is always to have a clear plan, I back my plan and I back myself whenever I’m bowling, whichever situation I’m bowling in. So, I was just focusing on that. It was a good day, so it went well,” the Man of the Match said.
Speaking about Rahul, who played a knock for the ages, Bumrah said, “We knew that he has been batting really well throughout the tournament. So, in the bowlers’ meeting, we talk about every player and while bowling second, I had a chat with (Bowling Coach) Shane Bond and (Bowling Mentor) Lasith Malinga as well. To have clear plans whenever you bowl is very important, I was focusing on that today.”
Bumrah revealed his thought process during the death overs. “It wasn’t that difficult. When we got two wickets, we weren’t actually looking for wickets. But because I wanted to create pressure, I wanted to give the guy bowling the last over as many as possible to defend,” he said.
Commenting on MI’s ability to fight back from hopeless situations, he said, “In a fairytale way, it looks very easy when we come and do what we do. But it’s not always like that. It’s difficult. We were preparing like that since the first game, but we were not able to close those games. After the halfway stage of the tournament, we were able to close games. That is the thing we are focusing on. We just wanted to close games.”
Bumrah also spoke of the need to focus on one’s game plan without worrying about external factors. “In one or two games, a player doesn’t become bad. I always feel that if you’ve done it before, you can do it again. You don’t think about opinions and what is going on outside. I always look to focus on what is there right now. I was backing my plan. In the earlier game (against Rajasthan Royals), I was backing my plan but I was not able to execute it. But, in this game, I was backing my game and I had the belief I could bowl a good over. You always want to bowl a good over. But on some days, it doesn’t go your way because at the position where I bowl, it is difficult especially at this ground with the dew factor coming into play. So, I was just backing myself and thinking with clarity.”
In 13 matches this season, Bumrah has picked up 16 wickets at a mind-boggling economy rate of 6.86. He has also bowled a whopping 125 dot balls, one less than table-topper Umesh Yadav.