Birmingham: Team India have breathed a huge sigh of relief after reaching the Cricket World Cup semi-finals. They were all smiles at having quickly recovered from the wobble against England at Edgbaston and ensured a win over Bangladesh at the same venue on Tuesday night.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli hailed the heroes behind the team’s victory. According to him, Rohit Sharma — who hit a century against the Bangladeshis — is the best white-ball cricketer on the planet. “I have been watching him for years now,” he said. “He’s the best ODI player around and we are so delighted to have him. When he plays like that, everybody is happy to see him strike so well.”
On Jasprit Bumrah, who accounted for four Bangladesh wickets, the skipper considers him a world-class bowler.
“His overs were always going to be crucial, so that’s why we stopped him after four [overs] initially,” he said.
A smiling ‘Boom Boom’ Bumrah, after his four-wicket spell destroyed Bangladesh’s hopes, explained in detail how he is able to win matches and also focus on his work ethics. “It’s a lot of preparation during practice. I consider each and every situation, be it with the new ball, or the old ball, or bowling in the death. And if I’ve ticked all of the boxes in the net, then it’s a matter of execution and keeping a clear head. So if I am happy with my work ethics, I think the execution feels much easier in the game.”
How difficult it is to bowl the last four or five overs, especially when one knows that the batsman is out to hit him? And did playing in the IPL help him to adjust with the pressures of bowling in the death overs? “I think a little differently. IPL is only 20 overs, but this is a 50-over game. But surely playing in high pressure games helps. The important thing is to keep a clear head and focus only on the game.”
Bumrah was seen kicking the ground in frustration when he bowled the ninth over. Why did that happen? “Sometimes I’m very hard on myself. I was frustrated I wasn’t able to execute the way I wanted to. So these things happen at the spur of the moment. But I was fine after that.”
Since he was seen to be involved in a lot of discussions with the captain and Dhoni, does he consider himself a senior player now? “It’s just that when I am bowling, I like to make my own decisions. I always have a plan in mind. And if I am confident of something, I discuss it with the captain or the senior players, and tell them that it may work. I like to prepare keeping in mind what I want in the end. Of course, depending on the wicket things change a little bit as well.”
Is bowling on pitches in England different from other parts of the world? “I am not sure how it works for everyone, but I like to keep it simple. I analyse the wicket as soon as possible. Sometimes you can run behind getting wickets, but at other times you don’t want to. The team’s goal is my primary focus. So eventually it’s all about focusing on the process. And if one is able to tick all the boxes, things get sorted on its own.”