Former ICC no. 1 bowler Jasprit Bumrah recently returned from an injury layout, but the quality of his game has seemingly declined if statistics are anything to go by.
Jasprit Bumrah was wicketless for the first time in his career in the recent ODI series against New Zealand. Meanwhile, he picked up a single wicket in the three-match T20I series against Australia.
While the pacer has taken eight wickets in the seven T20Is played in 2020, he has also given away more runs than his overall average in three of those matches. He also has the unwanted distinction of conceding the fourth-most runs in a bilateral series without taking a wicket.
While the ineffectiveness of Virat Kohli was visible during their whitewash against New Zealand, Jasprit Bumrah bowled 30 wicketless overs allowing 167 runs.
Comprehensively outplayed. Were in New Zealand long enough to get attuned. Yes, Kohli and Bumrah aren't in their best form but the openers need to set the game and that didn't happen. New Zealand were just the better side!
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 24, 2020
Not only do these numbers seem unflattering given the quality of bowling Jasprit Bumrah’s fans are usually used to, his performances have also affected the overall performance of the Indian cricket team, with the New Zealand series whitewash allowing Trent Boult to overtake the star Indian pacer in the ICC Players Rankings.
The injury layoff did not do much good for Jasprit Bumrah as well. In such situations, a strong return boosts the confidence of a player, especially a bowler. Since Bumrah is one of the key figures in the national set-up, the lack of wickets in the Australia series seemingly dented his confidence.
The New Zealand T20I series saw the bowler pick up more than one wicket in only one game while he two Super Overs he bowled in the same series went for 17 and 13 runs respectively.
Used regularly as a death overs specialist, Bumrah was ineffective against the New Zealand batsmen, who need to be commended for their performances and the ability to bounce back from the T20I series whitewash.
However, the lack of support from his bowling partners as well as the batsmen has to be highlighted. Debutant Kyle Jamieson ran through the Indian batting order in Auckland, dismissing Prithvi Shaw and conceding an economy of only 4.2, while Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur gave away 108 runs between themselves.
Mohammad Shami’s importance to Bumrah’s form was evident after the loss to the Black Caps at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. While Bumrah’s speed had reduced, he appeared to bowl short of a good length instead of pitching it up like his usual self.
If someone such as Bumrah finishes with 1/88, the Indian bowling has a problem. With the T20I World Cup approaching and the Test World Championship at stake as well, all eyes will be on India, and especially the 26-year-old pacer, in their remaining Tests.