BENGALURU: Mumbai Indians are cutting a sad figure in the Indian Premier League 2022. The five-time champions are scraping the bottom of the barrel with 9 defeats in 12 matches. They are the first team to crash out of the tournament this season.
There are myriad reasons behind Mumbai’s dismal performance one of them being its pacer Jasprit Bumrah’s underwhelming form during the tournament. Has Bumrah really hit the wall and gone off the boil? There is more to his form than meets the eye.
Till now, Bumrah has snaffled 11 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 31.40. He is not on the list of top 10 wicket-takers of the tournament at present. These figures look slightly unflattering for a bowler of his stature. However, his economy rate is 7.42 which is pretty good for the T20 format. This shows that though Bumrah perhaps hasn’t picked up as many wickets as he would have liked to, he is still not letting the batsmen take him apart.
In the match against Kolkata Knight Riders, Bumrah reeled off the best bowling performance of his career in a match by dismissing 5 batsmen for just 10 runs in 4 overs. Bowling the 18th over, Bumrah winkled out three batsmen without conceding a run. That was the first time Bumrah had taken a five-wicket haul in the IPL. But Mumbai still slumped to defeat as they were bowled out for just 113. The appalling show by batsmen nullified Bumrah’s brilliance.
This also underlines how Bumrah is receiving little support from other bowlers. While he conceded only 10 runs and chalked up 5 wickets, Kolkata still managed to score 165. Unlike previous seasons, when Bumrah had support from the likes of Trent Boult and Krunal Pandya – and earlier Lasith Malinga – in IPL 2022, Bumrah appears to be a lone wolf for Mumbai battling opponents.
As the spearhead of the attack, Bumrah’s overs are extremely crucial for Mumbai and they like to reserve him mostly for death overs. Hence, Bumrah has mostly been bowling only one over from the new ball, which opposition batsmen prefer to play out and then target other bowlers. Daniel Sams and M Ashwin come good sometimes but haven’t proven as effective as the former partners of Bumrah. Ultimately, Bumrah is left to do the heavy lifting all the time.
Looking at the numbers in isolation sans context might give outsiders an impression that Bumrah is going through a bad form, but if one watches him bowl closely it is abundantly evident that he is looking in fine rhythm, bowling with intent & zip and in a good state of mind.
“If you understand the game, you have to observe what’s going on, what the game is like, and what situation you are bowling in. Personally, I’m very happy with my rhythm throughout the tournament. I know there is a lot of noise outside that goes on, but it doesn’t really affect me. Because I’m not a person who judges my performance on what others think or what the experts are saying or whatever people want to say,” he said after his five-wicket haul.
“I look at the methods that I have to follow and as far as the end result is concerned, it’s about how I contribute to my team, which can be done by sometimes bowling a good over or two as well,” he put things in perspective.
The World T20 is scheduled to take place later this year and India’s prospects hinge a lot on Bumrah’s form and fitness. There are no major issues with his bowling and certainly no signs of fatigue in his demeanour. So, one will expect the ‘Boss Bumrah’ to bowl at full tilt and perform brilliantly for India in the marquee tournament.