Former West Indies paceman Ian Bishop knows a thing or two about fast bowling. Part of some fearsome pace bowling line-ups in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Bishop had 161 Test wickets and 118 ODI scalps to his name in an international career spanning close to a decade.
Now a television commentator, Bishop took a closer look at Indian paceman Jasprit Bumrah, who is competing in his maiden ICC World Cup. Bumrah is the leading wicket-taker for India in the World Cup, as he has been in international cricket since his debut, claiming 17 wickets in eight games at an average of 19.52 and an economy rate of just 4.48.
“Everything is interesting,” Bishop was quoted as saying by the ICC.
“Most fast-bowling scientists – not that I’m one of them – say that your ball speed is 60 per cent run-up and the pace of it – but his is an ambling one and the ball comes at 140kph and higher.
“It’s very unusual; it’s hard to decipher where the speed comes from. He releases the ball slightly inside the perpendicular, at his highest point, and his bowling arm comes down between his leg rather than past his left hip,” he added.
“He’s been maybe the best bowler,” Bishop said. “The wickets don’t show how valuable he has been. The likes of Starc have more, but Bumrah’s been brilliant.”
Bumrah has sent down 35 death overs in 2019 and only two have gone for more than 10 runs.
“At the death, he mixes up his length and pace,” adds Bishop. “It’s not just the yorkers, but they’re incredible. Yorkers are very hard. Even Lasith Malinga, who can deliver them more often than anyone, sometimes misses them. But those two are most consistent at them, and it’s fascinating the differences; Lasith does it with a low arm, where Bumrah’s is very high.”