CricketLounge Talk

An Open Letter To Jasprit Bumrah

Hi Jassi,

Yes, I did call you with the name that your teammates prefer to call. I will be writing this letter to you about something that the world doesn’t know you for. It is something very special, something very different and something that brought you darn closer to the heart than your screaming bowling performances. This letter of mine is to describe how fortunate I was to see you bat at your very best against an attack that brought down dynasties to its knees.

You came out to bat when India was in severe trouble. They had just lost Ishant and ant departed a few deliveries ago. The Indian fans had the déjà vu of the WTC final kicking in. That is when Robinson bowled the opening delivery to you, you flailed your bat frenetically and stole two valuable runs. To be candid I had my own shares of skepticism seeing you swinging the bat. I thought the word from the stands was to go out in the middle and give a desperate lunge for those quick runs. The following two deliveries bore witness to another mad swing of your bat with you barely escaping the clutches of a diving Buttler on the last ball of the over.

Shami exchanged sides right on the first delivery of Wood’s over and facing a bowler who has already scalped three crucial wickets is not an easy task for a tail-ender with very near zero experience of batting.

Despite a couple of wild swings of your bat against Wood, it was a reprieve for me that you survived and then came the scare that most likely for a longer period of time, you won’t.

The first time you instilled me with hope was when you smashed that rollicking straight-drive off Robinson sadly straight into the timbre at the non-striker’s end. That pair of eyes made me believe that maybe we are staring at 10 odd runs from your willow.

The next ball faced by you made me believe that a much calmer batsman is slowly taking over a man possessed with the intention of wreaking carnage without a clue of how to wield it.

Jasprit Bumrah

That is when came the moment of reckoning for me, for your captain, for the entire nation and most importantly for those English cricketers who would think twice before riling you up. That extra spark of fire in Kohli’s eyes and you raising your finger against the ageless oppression that we faced back in our days of servitude to the Brits, pumped the Indians up.

The last time Flintoff made a mistake of irking an Indian batsman, Broad was thrown out six times off the field in the same over and England was consigned to the exit gate of the 2007 T20 World Cup.

This time though, it was Mark Wood at the bowling end and he suffered the wrath of trying to make inroads under your skin. That cut was special. Not an extraordinarily controlled cut but the ball kissing the fence was of symbolic importance.

The drama was far from over as Wood was simply eyeing revenge. They say that Test cricket has no more thrills left. Maybe they don’t look closely. Where would you find such intense tension brewing with every single ball? It seemed as if that nasty sweet-chin-music from Wood was a desperate attempt to knock you over for that embarrassing boundary that he conceded in the first ball of his over.

Honestly, I had my hands clasped in prayers that you simply do not fail that concussion test because the war was just starting. Thank heavens, you stood up and you took up the bat again. It no longer felt like a bat. It gleamed like a sword, warm from the blood of the slain enemies.

Wood had you in his sight and the following delivery was hurled at you at a whopping 150 clicks and you managed to escape with a slice of lady luck coming your way. Robinson tried to bother you a bit with his menacing mix of pace and you survived. It felt like scenes from Castaway with you scraping at everything to survive and that was the need of the hour for India then.

Once again, Wood had no intentions of letting you breathe and he kept on peppering you with those tracer bullets and you kept on surviving, a dangerous battle, a battle which the explorer wages to cling onto his life from that last shred of rope that keeps you dangling.

With some neat trading of Sam Curran and Moeen Ali, you moved to a decent 20 and this was the second time in the series that you pulled that off and in fact, it was the second time of your career that you pulled off this incredible heroic and it was about time.

When England had already taken the battering for quite a while, that is when Root introduced their most menacing bowler in hope of managing a wicket and Jimmy Anderson probed you already with a couple of nasty bouncers. The way you slashed one of them atop Root to steal away a couple of runs somewhere made me believe that even the iconic Jimmy Anderson will have trouble taming you.

The way things followed from thereon was a resolute display of resistance against a handful of sharpshooters spraying you with the best of their bullets. The final highlight of the innings was that brilliant clip down the leg-side that saw Robinson being dispatched to the stands without any ado at all.

However, under the veil of all this brilliance, you achieved something way more impeccable. You played that anchor to Mohammed Shami and as you incurred the wrath of the English bowlers, Shami at the other end made merry, propelling India to the defining lead of 271 runs.

You stayed unbeaten on 34 from 64 deliveries and this effort was nothing short of a centurion’s essay. The resistance, resilience, diligence and patience that you showed with the bat will make a few monikers in the Indian shade think that have they really did justice to their preceding reputation?

The bowler Bumrah can be a hero to millions but for me, you are that bubble of rebellion that left Lord’s painted with another brand of Indian bravado that will ring for ages to come.

Yours sincerely,

From a crazy cricket lover.

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