Since making his debut in the 50-over format in 2016, Jasprit Bumrah has had a meteoric rise and has become the leader of India’s pace attack. His unmatched accuracy, ability to keep a lid on runs coupled with wicket taking abilities, make him an asset for captain Virat Kohli. The extent of Bumrah’s outstanding start to his ODI career can be gauged from the fact that he is the second fastest Indian to the 100-wicket mark, missing Mohammed Shami’s mark by just one match.
His performances on flat Indian tracks have also been a highlight of his short career so far. But ever since his return from injury, sustained after India’s tour of West Indies last year, the paceman has not been at his best. In the six ODIs he has played this year, Bumrah has managed to pick only 1 wicket and averages a rather unbelievable 287. The three-match India vs South Africa series thus provides a perfect platform for the paceman to return to form.
Bumrah played 3 ODIs against Australia at home in January, and picked up only 1 wicket in the entire series, which India managed to win 2-1. But the real shocker came in New Zealand as he failed to pick up a single wicket in the three matches, and also went for runs. The direct impact was seen in the result as India were whitewashed in an ODI series after 31 long years.
The paceman though holds a good record against South Africa and that is where Indian fans can hope for a revival. He has picked up 12 wickets in 8 matches against the Proteas, but the impressive part lies in the economy. Bumrah has conceded only 3.83 runs per over against South Africa. That shows how difficult it is to get him away.
The Indian team is reeling from the impact of the twin whitewashes, in ODIs and Tests, in New Zealand and needs a good series against South Africa to get back to wining ways. Bumrah and Virat Kohli will be the two players the team will look at to get them out of this hole and both are ready for the challenge.