There has been plenty of talk over Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling action and form, with several former cricketers believing that the India fast bowler needs to find a way to prolong his international career. Bumrah has been playing international cricket for over five years now but his form has seen a bit of a dip following a back injury sustained in late 2019. Although the pacer avoided surgery on his back and made a successful return to top-flight cricket, the wickets have dried up and his economy rate his spiked.
Bumrah is hands down one of India’s most important and key bowlers, and his role is expected to get bigger with back-to-back World Cups approaching. Keeping that in mind, former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has a word of advice for the India pacer and team management, and believes that if they are to ensure that Bumrah has a long career ahead, key is to use him judiciously.
“His bowling is based on frontal action. Players with that action bowl with their backs and shoulder speed. We used to be side-on, and that is a compensation. Front action has no compensation and with that action, when the back blows out, you can’t escape it irrespective of how much you try,” Akhtar said on Sports Tak.
“I saw [Ian] Bishop’s back blowing out, Shane Bond’s back blowing out, and both has frontal actions. Bumrah now needs to think in this way, ‘I played a match, took an off, and go to rehab’. He needs to manage. If you play him every match, in one year, he will completely break down. Play him three matches out of five and take him out. Bumrah will have to manage this one thing if he wants to last forever.”
Shoaib Akhtar cited his own example, revealing how during his playing career, he faced a similar problem. The former Pakistan pacer explained how he tried to convince the Pakistan Cricket Board to follow the same pattern with him, but the PCB’s reluctance to listen to him forced Akhtar to take a stock of situation himself.
“I kept telling Pakistan Cricket Board, ‘do not make me play all five matches. I am a three ODI fast bowler and by knees won’t allow it’. When I started my years in 1997, my knees couldn’t take the pressure. Whenever I played five matches, knees would get filled with water and my movement went away. I got tired of asking them to use me in three matches out of five but unfortunately, I had to manage this myself,” he pointed out.