Although Jasprit Bumrah’s heydays coincide with the leadership tenure of Virat Kohli, it was the latter’s predecessor, MS Dhoni, who gave the pacer his breakthrough in the international arena.
Trailing the 2016 ODI series against Australia by 4-0, the Dhoni-led side was fighting hard to avoid the shambolic clean-sweep in the last game at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Bumrah was picked ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar to play along with Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.
The Ahmedabad-born impressed everyone with a terrific spell in which he conceded just 40 runs from 10 overs and picked up two wickets. To put things into perspective, Umesh leaked 82 runs in just 8 overs while Ishant spilt 60 runs from his quota of 10 overs.
Dhoni regretted not playing Bumrah early in the series
One of the most striking aspects of the game were Bumrah’s toe-crushing yorkers in death overs which restricted Australia to 330.
Bumrah has now opened up about his interaction with Dhoni after that match. The speedster revealed that the then India skipper was totally unaware of his yorkers and lamented not playing him earlier.
“Well, it was his decision [Dhoni’s international retirement], and everybody respects it. At a personal level, I made my debut (Sydney, 2016) under him and he gave me a lot of confidence. Not many people know that Mahi bhai had never seen me bowl, at any level,” Bumrah was quoted as saying by TOI.
“In my debut game, I was going to bowl in the death overs and I asked him ‘can I bowl yorkers?’ and he was like ‘no, don’t bowl yorkers’. He thought since it was a difficult delivery, I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I told him ‘in death overs, I don’t know what else to do’. So, anyway, I went ahead and did my thing and then he came to me and was like “I didn’t know this at all. “
“You should’ve come earlier, we would’ve won the whole series”. Here was me, making a nervous debut and the captain telling me “you could’ve won us this series”. He gave me a lot of freedom,” concluded Bumrah.