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Jasprit Bumrah: Right arm quick and great

Jasprit Bumrah: Right arm fast. The categorization is oversimplified. He’s many in oneβ€”a versatile New Ball dealer; an old ball virtuoso, a seam artist; Supreme length manipulator, an all-format freak of nature, a talisman and a match winner, an icon and an entertainer. On Saturday he was all over all and pure theatre.

There are many reasons viewers flock to see him in the flesh or turn on the TV as he unlocks this unique action of his. Aside from the sense of accomplishment that will grow over the years since he was there the day Bumrah did this, Bumrah brings a desperation almost to be it in a tiny way and brings something to everyone. For the masses, he bestows the visceral thrill of a supersonic fast bowler straddling stumps and blasting pads. For purists, the delights of its subtle intricacies; for scientists, the mechanics of its action; For the students of the game, a light of enlightenment; And for the spectators in the stands, a song for their melody, a rhythm for their beat.

If Bumrah doesn’t make you fall in love with cricket, maybe this decade in cricket will be nothing.

He started Super Saturday and surpassed his own powers to entertain. His 16-ball 31 was both pantomime and cult. He sent Stuart Broad, he off the retro headband and 550 test wickets, to another piece of cricket trinket runs – 35 runs in an over, 31 runs from his bat. Nobody has ever scored as many runs in one in Tests as Bumrah – not Rishabh Pant or Virender Sehwag; Not Brian Lara or Viv Richards.

Using the word “score” to refer to those 31 runs hardly does justice to or captures the essence of those 31 runs. You could call it fluke, freak, or even farce, but it all decorated the entertainment package that is Bumrah. It would be one of the messiest overs ever in cricket He crashed to the surface (Ala Pant), a one-legged six (Ala Gordon Greenidge) and a comic single.

In the middle, Bumrah rolled in laughter with partner Mohammed Siraj. So were his teammates in the dressing room. But to gauge the impact of his knock, how random it was, one had only to zoom in on the face of Broad and his captain, Ben Stokes. Broad looked as pale as someone trapped in a Gothic castle with a ghost; Looking dazed for the first time since his captain, Stokes went to shoot the Storm’s death.

Those 35 runs not only took India to 416, a goal that seemed impossible when they were 100/5 on a stage, but psychologically plausibly destroyed them. The last three had added 93, and the last pair had 41 runs. It wasn’t the first time he had injured England at bat – the 34 not at Lord’s and 24 at the Oval were useful runs. Don’t call him an all-rounder just yet. Stokes blew his cheeks in relief when the partnership finally ended, with James Anderson consuming Siraj for his 32nd five-wicket draw in Tests.

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Then entered the real storm. Bumrah with the new ball. His transformation from a goofball to a hangman. From Robin Williams to Al Pacino. He swung 6052 balls in Test cricket before entering from the Birmingham City end. Every step, every move, every quirk, every cell of his bowling body might have been dissected, but he’s still not unrestricted. There are batsmen who have played it well but have not mastered it. Joe Root has found success against India in the Bumrah era but Bumrah has caught him six times. It’s a lesson that great bowlers can be decoded but not reworked. They find their ways, they draw their plot and sometimes resort to routine.

Just like Bumrah Alex Lees. After washing him with away visitors from above the stumps, he came around the stumps and slipped one onto his stumps. Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope were ejected the same way, who were ripped away from the body behind the flashing drives. He found more zip and nip than most English bowlers; Smothered and suffocated them with speed, leap and movement from the surface. So the sight, more of an illusion, of a loose ball shone in her eyes. England advanced to 44/3 before root and Bairstow made the recovery act before Siraj removed Joe Root.

But it was another day that Bumrah ran the show and unwrapped one role at a time. Bumrah: Right arm fast. All. More than anything. Pure theatre.

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