Jasprit Bumrah can bowl in India

Plus notes on left-arm wrist spin drought, the pitch, and the Tangiwai Trophy

Jasprit Bumrah can bowl in India

Ashwin and Anderson were like two old guys arguing over their favourite seat on the bus. But England cleaned up pretty well on a decent wicket. Jaiswal picked up his double hundred of course, that was fun. Eventually Anderson caught up with him when he was in tail end slog mode.

Then England went into Bazball mode, but the Indian players seemed to be able to handle it quite well. Crawley might be the worst user of his feet I have seen to spin, he seems to be dismissed this way all the time.

But really, it was Bumrah, he got Root again, did what he threatened to Pope last time (he may need to send a ham to the stumps family), took Bairstow and when he made Ben Stokes’ bring out the disappointed bat drop, England had been 'Bumballed'.

Jasprit Bumrah makes a difference (again) (SAK)

The ability to move batters around the crease intentionally because of accuracy is usually a spinner's skill. But doing it at Jasprit Bumrah's pace, I do not know what a batter is supposed to do. He got Root to play at a ball that was quite wide. And because Root was not in his normal position, he did not look to leave a ball he probably should have.

Via - JioCinema

Bumrah does not exactly dominate Joe Root in England. I thought there was a little bit of reverse when he got Root out today. So maybe he's more comfortable reversing it in India than in England.

Bumrah has now dismissed Root eight times, Kane Williamson twice and Steve Smith once. He has a combined average of 32.63 against the defining batters of this generation. He would take that.

The ball is tailing in, and it drifts - missing middle stump and hitting the leg stump. He had managed to just dig a yorker out early in his innings in Hyderabad. I asked CricViz, but they couldn't see any stats that suggested Bumrah bowled the yorker to Pope more often.


For Bairstow, I thought today he was trying to play with the LBW side of things. He had dismissed him with a yorker at the Oval in 2021.

Via - ECB YouTube channel
Via - ECB YouTube channel
Via - ECB YouTube channel

It's worth noting that Waqar Younis was at another level at the start of his career. But he lost his athleticism towards the end of his career. Imran Khan and Shoaib Akhtar were also young, fast strike-bowlers. Although Bumrah gets a boost from playing more Test matches in the pace-pandemic/wobbleball era, these four can be categorized together in a group of strike-bowling Asian seamers.

Syd Barnes is the only one on this list with more wickets at a better average than him. He currently has a better average than Rabada and Cummins, the other two bowlers from this generation that make it to this list. They also get a boost from bowling in the wobbleball era.

Marshall had the ability to swing the ball, and was very fast. Garner could seam the ball at pace, and was very tall. Ambrose and McGrath would also be similar to Garner. Davidson was the first great left-arm seamer.

Bumrah has pace, a high release, is incredibly accurate, and he can both swing and seam the ball. The ability to bowl in both Asia and non-Asia is something absolutely remarkable.

Bumrah started his career in the peak wobbleball era, and he averaged slightly under 22 before a back injury kept him out of the format for over a year. But since his comeback, his average is a subterranean 11.2.

Part of that is because of the pitches in South Africa. But the main reason why he has done so well in this series has been because of how smartly he bowled, on wickets that haven't been massively seam-friendly either.

Mark Wood looked okay in Hyderabad. Anderson was a consistent threat, but even he didn't look like he was about to start a collapse. But Bumrah has been on that level. The only thing that separates Cummins and Rabada from him is just the fact that they've done it over more matches.

Where would this game be without Bumrah?

The great left-arm wrist spin drought (JK)

Ben Foakes was bowled by a standard delivery from Kuldeep Yadav when he seemed to change what line he thought the ball was delivered on. You cannot blame him, because he really hasn’t seen much of this kind of bowling in his career. CricViz couldn’t find a single time that he faced it in first-class.

Yet, in Tests, Foakes has played it a lot. Last three years there is almost no goofy wrist spin, but in his career Foakes managed to face more than most by going up against Lakshan Sandakan and Kuldeep Yadav repeatedly. But clearly, it doesn’t happen a lot.

Weirdly, Ben Foakes has managed to face a lot more than most, but still pretty much none.

His 3% only looks like a lot because of recent times there has been none bowled at all. Well, basically none. In the last three years of Tests before today, there was 638 deliveries bowled between Afghanistan's Zahir Khan and Kuldeep Yadav. But usually domestically there are some, even if not a lot. England is even weird because Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope and Ben Foakes had not faced a ball of it in county cricket according to CricViz.

Pope had faced Kuldeep before, but across mine and CricViz’s databases, this is all I found of these two players against left-arm wrist spin. Now it's always possible there is a little more in the List A records (which are harder to find). But still, look at Crawley. His professional career was facing two random Aussie bowlers once each.

Today Kuldeep took his 37th wicket with the art. That took him to equal third on the all time list, with 37. I mean look at the state of this. Paul Adams started strong, then ended up being used like a slow left-arm orthodox because South Africa gave up on him. Check Fleetwood-Smith would have taken more if World War Two wasn’t in his prime. And Lakshan Sandakan is a “oh that guy” who occasionally gets a roll for Sri Lanka. The only player who might have more wickets than 37 is Gary Sobers, but doubtful he took that many wickets with his fifth most impressive skill.

But imagine being the fourth best at something, and having 37 wickets. I would say this is a dying art, but it never even started living.

Can we have a little commotion for the pitch? (JK)

Worth just talking about this pitch, and also the previous one. India has been playing on a lot of wickets that were made for WTC points and to keep stress off their spinners. So we had been used to seeing batters playing each ball like it was a diaper bomb being hurled at them.

That is very different to now, these wickets have been good for pace, spin and batters. You can score nicely, but the wickets aren’t flat. Anderson and Bumrah were both fantastic, and Wood was decent in the last match as well.

And the spinners have taken wickets, but they are a major part of the game - which is great - but not all of it. We all complain about the bad pitches, but this has been two really good surfaces. Just proper cricket wickets.

More silly points (JK)

Yesterday I talked about it, I kept an eye on whether there were more dismissals at silly point, now that more players are keeping their bats so far ahead of their pads so that they don't go out LBW. We almost had a couple of dismissals yesterday, and then today we had another one.

This was more of a traditional silly point dismissal. This is Duckett here, and we see that it's hit the top corner of the bat and it has looped up. The bat's absolutely nowhere near the pad here. When you keep doing that, there is a chance you will spoon the ball up on the off side.

Rohit in the dark (JK)

Quite clearly, England were desperate to bowl when it was getting gloomy. Obviously, India were not. I believe there was a 12.5 minute gap between the players walking off the field and the first ball being bowled in the next innings. And that was largely down to Rohit Sharma, who was in no hurry. When Jaiswal was about to face his first ball, Rohit Sharma also came down to have another chat to delay it further.

I was talking about the timed out dismissal because they were getting close to that two minute warning mark, and Marais Erasmus was the umpire again. And around the same time when Angelo Mathews found a new way to get out. He got dismissed today while hitting his own stumps while hitting a boundary. It was even funnier than the timed out, because of how bad the ball was.

Tangiwai Shield (JK)

The New Zealand/South Africa Test series has a new trophy, the Tangiwai Shield. The Tangiwai Shield commemorates the Tangiwai Disaster of 1953. I covered it in this video.