Bangalore, Apr 5: A 19-year-old boy made his entry into Indian Premier League (IPL) at M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday night (April 4).
Gujarat teenager Jasprit Bumrah, with an unusual bowling action and short run-up made an impact in his first game as Mumbai Indians player against Royal Challengers Bangalore. He made his T20 debut only last month for Gujarat.
It was a memorable moment for Bumrah when he was handed the Mumbai Indians cap by Sachin Tendulkar. "It felt really nice. I always dreamt that he (Tendulkar) would give me my cap," he said.
"It felt nice. I was just trying to do the basics and it went good. Some swing was there but it was slippery so I tried to bowl to the stumps. It was my first match, so I was a bit nervous, but this happens," he added after his bowling performance.
Mumbai skipper Ponting said Bumrah was signed few days before the tournament. "He was only signed probably four or five days ago actually. We signed a couple of young guys just before the first game, Jasprit being one of them. As you saw today, he's unusual.
"He's got a different type of action, he's got a short run-up and bowls pretty lively pace and creates different angles.... He bowls from wide of the crease and swings the ball in. We just thought that he could be a real wicket-taking option for us in these conditions, so we gave him an opportunity today. He was probably a bit nervous in his first over, but got wickets when we needed them," Australian said.
Earlier, Bumrah was given the ball by Ponting to bowl the fifth over of the innings. It was a nervous start as a short and widish first ball was easily sent to the boundary by RCB skipper Virat Kohli. Same result next ball as well and a delivery later another four followed from Kohli's bat.
After watching his first four balls, one would have thought he would be easy meat for batsmen on that night. But it was not to be. After that nervous beginnings, it was Bumrah who was shining brightly under the floodlights.
In his first over itself (fifth ball), he dismissed Kohli LBW with a ball that pitch outside off and came back sharply. Next over first ball, Bumrah had Mayan Agarwal caught by Sachin Tendulkar at mid-off.
In his third over, he was up against Chris Gayle and the West Indian put him away for a four and six.
Fourth and final over of Bumrah produced another wicket with LBW dismissal of Karun Nair.
A night that began on a bad note ending brilliantly. Bumrah finished with figures of 3/32 and won praise from all.
Later, it was known that the right-arm paceman was signed by Mumbai just before one week to the start of IPL. The main man behind Bumrah's entry to IPL was Mumbai coach John Wright, who had watched the youngster during Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament.
"John Wright had come to watch one of our T20 matches and he watched me bowl in two games. He didn't talk to me or hinted anything. After he went, I got a call asking if I was interested in signing a contract with the Mumbai Indians," Bumrah told IPL's website.
The Trophy which Gujarat won, saw Bumrah winning the Man-of-the-match award in the final against Punjab. He had taken three wickets for 14 runs in Indore.
Bumrah has played just 10 T20 games and is yet to feature in a first-class game or 50-over game at the senior level. If he carries on this form, he might soon be in the reckoning for Gujarat Ranji Trophy team.
RCB captain Virat Kohli said Bumrah could be an exciting prospect. "Bumrah is a very unusual kind of a bowler. New kid, so not many have seen him... he did pretty well for his first game. It was important to put him under pressure, but when I got out he sort of got through those overs because the wicket was doing quite a bit. He bowled in good areas and could be a very exciting prospect," he said.
Jasprit Bumrah Facts
Full name: Jasprit Jasbirsingh Bumrah
Date of birth: December 6, 1993
Righ-arm medium fast bowler and right-hand batsman
Played 10 Twenty20 matches including IPL game
T20 Debut: March, 2013 for Gujarat
Yet to play first-class cricket or senior 50-over format