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Every international wicket is special to me: Jasprit Bumrah

India Today logo India Today 04-09-2016
© AP Photo

From an Australian summer to an American August, from the Sydney Cricket Ground to Fort Lauderdale in Florida, it has been a remarkable, somewhat unimaginable, 2016 for Jasprit Bumrah.

After having made his India debut in the fifth and final ODI at the SCG on January 23, India's new pace sensation has become Indian skipper MS Dhoni's go-to man, especially in the T20 format.

"It has been a really good journey so far, a great experience. I have learnt with every match that I played, learning from the experienced players and how to go about it. Every youngster dreams to play for India and I have done that. The ride has been pretty good so far. Let's hope it continues like this," Bumrah told India Today in an exclusive chat.

With 28 wickets from 21 matches, Bumrah is world's leading wicket taker in international T20s this year. He is followed by teammate Ravichandran Ashwin (23 wickets) and Bangladesh pacer Al-Amin Hossain (22 wickets).

"Frankly speaking, I never think about the wickets that I have got, the numbers. I just try to contribute to the team's success. I believe that whenever you think of the outcome, it doesn't go your way. So, I just try to contribute in every possible way," says the 22-year-old from Ahmedabad.

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Much to skipper Dhoni's relief, for whom Indian bowlers leaking too many runs in the final overs was always a big headache, death bowling and unleashing toe-crushing yorkers has become Bumrah's forte.

"It feels good (all the praise on his death bowling skills) but I don't pay too much attention to it. I have done a lot of death bowling for Mumbai Indians and also for Gujarat. I have a fair bit of idea and experience in that area now. I just try to improve my game, try to stick to my strengths and add new things to my bowling. That is the thing which will give me an advantage in the coming season. I do practice a lot on bowling yorkers and a whole lot of other deliveries in the nets. I repeat the same in a match. I go with a clear plan whenever I play."

Of course, who would forget how Bumrah shattered Chris Gayle's off stump off the very first ball of his over in World T20 tournament earlier this year.

© Reuters Image

"Not just Gayle's dismissal but every international wicket is special to me. But my debut match, against Australia remains the most memorable moment till now. These days in international cricket, the batsmen know everything. I try to practice a lot of deliveries and try to stick to my strength. These are the things that are helping me. A bowler has to keep on inventing ways to get a wicket," he says.

What helps Bumrah is that he has got a good head on his shoulders, the prime reason why, unlike other international pacers, you won't see him getting involved in aggressive encounters with the batters.

"Yes, I don't try to show my aggression. I'll always be aggressive but I try to use it to my advantage. I don't show it to the batsmen and will never abuse them. I know if you take it in a proper direction, it will help you in the matches."

Maybe it is captain cool's calm approach to things which is rubbing off on to him as well.

"It always give you a good confidence that the captain is backing you. That really helps a youngster to express himself and perform well. The going has been good so far," Bumrah says as he prepares for another stint in the nets, this time with a pink ball.

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