When England headed into lunch on the final day of the penultimate Test of the series against India, they were cruising. A draw seemed extremely likely and Root’s men would’ve probably even sniffed a win after the strong start they got from openers Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns while chasing India’s 368.
By the time Jasprit Bumrah was done with his spell after lunch, England were limping and crumbling under the pressure. The Indian yorker king bowled two exquisite yorker deliveries to get rid of Ollie Pope, who had scored a half-century in the first innings, and reliable batsman Jonny Bairstow in no time to turn the tide around.
With the pressure back on the England batsmen, Virat Kohli upped the ante. The likes of Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jasprit Bumrah got them in a chokehold and when Shardul Thakur sent Joe Root, often the saviour with the bat, back to the pavilion, the resistance collapsed.
England captain Root acknowledged that astonishing spell of six overs as the ‘turning point’ of the match. “We’ve got to be realistic about things, that was world-class bowling,” said Root. Meanwhile, his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli was extremely proud of the shift put in by his bowlers. He also mentioned that Bumrah had asked for the ball when he saw some reverse swing off the surface.
In his post-match interview, Jasprit Bumrah appeared a completely different person. Far from the battle-hardened face he had put on during the match, this one was much more relaxed and grounded. “Yes, I told him (Virat Kohli) to give me the ball. It was reversing, not as much as it does in India, but there was reverse swing. We thought it’s an important phase of the game and it’s very important to create pressure. That was the intention behind it.
“The mindset after lunch was that we needed to create a lot more pressure. If you give a lot of runs, the momentum goes. You don’t want to play catch-up. If we start well, we have the belief and the patience. I knew I would give everything I got.”
What made that performance from Bumrah even more spectacular is the fact that he did it on what seemed like a flat track that had nothing for the fast bowlers. Ask Robinson and Anderson on Day 4 and they’d tell the same. Bumrah, however, paid no attention to it.
“This was a flat wicket but our job was to ensure to bowl in the right areas. All the bowlers chipped in. A lot of efforts went into this,” said the fastest Indian pacer to collect 100 Test wickets.