The swing of a cricket ball is essential for every pacer. Be it if conditions are supportive or not; if a bowler is getting a decent amount of swing, he can trouble the batsmen. But there are different kinds of balls used in international cricket. For instance, Kookaburra balls are used in all limited-overs cricket. When it comes to Test cricket, countries like England, Ireland and West Indies use Dukes balls, while India uses SG.
In the past, many seamers have dropped their opinions regarding the best suitable balls in the red-ball format. Some have picked Dukes while some have gone for Kookaburra. Following the trend, India’s frontline speedster Jasprit Bumrah has also given his thoughts regarding which cricket ball brings him in the comfort position.
Bumrah said he feels most comfortable bowling with the Dukes ball manufactured in England compared to India made SG. During a chat for ICC podcast featuring internationals Ian Bishop and Shaun Pollock, Bumrah spoke on a lot of issues, including how he developed an outswinger (inswinger for left-handers).
The right-armer also articulated about the secret of his eight-step run-up which helps him to produce extreme pace.
“I love bowling with Dukes. It seems it swings, so basically, when you have a little bit of help, it does help as it is difficult to be a fast bowler with grounds getting shorter and wickets getting flatter,” said Bumrah.
“So if the ball does something, it becomes even more competitive. So you feel you are in the game. With no help, you only have few things to play with. So I enjoy bowling most with the Dukes ball. I always want to bring new things. My different action, maybe once or twice people will be surprised, but they will find you out. So you need to improve and keep on evolving,” he added.
Bumrah revealed that the tour to West Indies where he bowled with Dukes ball, helped him to gain confidence while bowling an outswinger.
“So I had the outswinger, but when I came into the international set-up, I wasn’t confident about it, maybe it wasn’t coming out well, maybe the pace, you should have the feel of it. Slowly, you work on it in the nets. In the West Indies, the ball (Dukes with a pronounced seam) was helpful, conditions were helpful,” the Ahmedabad-born bowler added further.
Bumrah stated that several people suggested him to change his bowling action but he never really bothered about it. The 25-year-old revealed that his action is natural and he has never been coached in professional camps during his early days.
“Basically, I have never been coached a lot—no professional coaching or camps. Till date, everything is self-taught, everything, through TV, videos. There is no proper reason for action. I have never really listened to people who told me that action needs to be changed, kept on developing on strengths if I could have self-belief,” Bumrah said about his unusual bowling action.
On his short run-up, Bumrah said that while playing in the backyard he didn’t have enough space, so he had to cut short his run-up. The Gujarati bowler expressed that he has tried bowling in longer run-ups as well, but since it didn’t change his speed, he stuck to his old process.
“Playing in the backyard. My run-up is because of that as we didn’t have so much space, so this (8 step run-up) is the longest that you could have had, maybe this could have been the case. I have tried longer run-ups, and nothing changes, speed is still the same so why to run so much,” concluded Bumrah.