South African batting great A B de Villiers has described Jasprit Bumrah as a bowler with “special skills” who has the ability to “stick to plans” in high pressure situations. The pair came face to face in a high octane clash at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Sunday, where de Villiers, who is now retired from international cricket, made an unbeaten 70 in 41 balls but couldn’t get his team across the line chasing 187. Bumrah was named man of the match for his spell of 3/20 on the night.
“Look at the ICC rankings for ODI bowlers, and you will see that Bumrah is currently No. 1. The stats don’t lie,” de Villiers wrote in his column for the Times of India. “He (Bumrah) got the better of me in the closing overs of an exhilarating IPL clash. All credit to him because he bowled incredibly well. I look forward to the next time. It was strange at the end, I didn’t know what to do.”
De Villiers recollected that going into the final stages, RCB knew that one big over was a must to keep them in the hunt as the equation read 61 runs needed off 30 balls. At that stage, de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer took 20 off the 16th over bowled by Lasith Malinga before Bumrah stepped up to stop the momentum the pair had built.
“He has special skills. It may be something to do with his wrists, but he is slippery, managing to get more pace off the deck than any bowler I’ve ever faced at the Chinnaswamy. He’s also brave,” said de Villiers. “Under pressure, when many panic, he sticks to his plans, backs his ability and, very often, executes perfectly.”
Bumrah bowled four dot balls to end the 17th over after dismissing Hetmyer and allowing de Villiers a single off the second ball. In his final over, he’d account for another wicket while conceding five runs only to set up what eventually turned out to be a controversial win. Bumrah, who had an injury scare in the first game, was the only Mumbai bowler with an economy rate of less than run a ball in the game.