India's Jasprit Bumrah
India's Jasprit Bumrah bowls to South Africa's Kagiso Rabada during their Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and India at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton, on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. Image Credit: AP

Southampton: It’s not always that one gets the opportunity to chat with India’s attacking lynchpin Jasprit Bumrah about his craft.

While he seemed a simple person, his answers were like his yorkers: quick and to the point.

What aspect of his bowling was he most happy about? “All aspects!,” he said with a bright smile. going on to add, “Irrespective of whether you do well or not, being able to play for the country and that too in the World Cup tournament, is not something everyone gets to do; so that’s the most satisfying thing for me.”

When pointed out that his skipper Virat Kohli had high regard for his work-rate at the nets, Bumrah did not elaborate on that but revealed that it was important to work on his preparation and homework. He then went on to explain how he adapts his bowling to the wicket. “One needs to look into a number of things while bowling. On a wicket where you could get some help — there was a little bit of seam movement here — you can sometimes be tempted to try out a few things. At that time, it is good to remember that we don’t need to do many things. If we are able to bowl patiently like in a Test match and if one chances some help from the wicket, the results will automatically come.”

Bumrah refuses to let the pressure of expectations get to his bowling. Instead, he believes in keeping things simple, focus more on the processes and thus be able to tick the boxes and get the result he desires. “My focus is always on what is expected of me from the team at any given situation. I don’t think I have a reputation to live up to and that I need to do things to satisfy that.”

Any specific work he engages in to tick all the boxes? “It’s diet, hard work and always trying to stick to a plan. I believe doing all of this keeps me in a very good space.”

At the same time, he stressed that it ultimately boils down to sheer hard work. “There is a lot of hard work that goes behind the scenes. I take all my sessions seriously — be it bowling with the new ball or practicing all my variations — but I must do all my preparations before coming into a game. Then its all about execution and more importantly, keeping a clear head space!”