While he has been impressive on return, showing no signs of rust but the spectre, however minor or insignificant, of when Jasprit Bumrah pulls up with another fitness concern will continue to hover over arguably one of the finest fast bowlers India has produced in recent times.
Bumrah is an all-format players for India, someone who is also in their leadership circle. It’s obvious, he will be representing the team across formats, regularly (with breaks in between to manage workload).
But how long will his body, which will turn 30 this December, handle the rigours of a packed international calender (and then there’s two months of IPL too)?
It seems that the injury-forced break did inspire Bumrah to rework on his bowling action, adding a couple of strides in his run up and lengthening his follow through so as to lessen the stress on his back.
Sreesanth, the former India fast bowler, knows how injuries can derail a career no matter how much talent one is in possession of. Before the IPL spot-fixing scandal ended his international career for good, the Kerala history-maker’s progress had already been halted at the level due to fitness and form concerns.
So how can Bumrah without compromising on his pace and venom can perform at the level he was doing before the unwanted break and also remain injury free?
“Bumrah has been an excellent bowler. He’s been world number one and he knows exactly what to do,” Sreesanth told News 18 CricketNext in an exclusive conversation. “I will just say, yes, that (bowling) action is awkward, but that is what is getting (him) wickets. It’s just a matter of getting stronger every single day, lot of flexibility (exercise), rather than just the strength. You have to have a balanced fitness routine rather than just going hard at the gym, it should be balanced. I’m sure he’s got the best of the physio, the best of doctors and nutritionists around and it’s just a matter of time (he will be back at his best). I wish him all the best because injuries are part and parcel of a fast bowler’s life especially when you’re playing in subcontinent conditions.”
Aside from the physical aspect, Sreesanth thinks Bumrah will also have to work on his mental strength with respect to worrying about injuries.
“…it’s a matter of belief system, the mindset. Don’t worry about the injuries, but make sure you prevent them by doing a balanced routine. And I’m sure Bumrah, being the world-class bowler he is and he will always be, we all should just back him up and be there for him, whatever it is, be with him mentally and spiritually. I’m sure physically he will just get better every single day,” said Sreesanth.
There has been a lot of chatter around the workload of cricketers these days. With the non-stop cricket all year around, the BCCI has taken a conscious step towards ensuring its players are well-rested.
Sreesanth thinks players nowadays are quite smart when choosing tournaments.
“It all depends on the individual. This generation is so smart enough to decide what they should play,” said the 40-year-old who is currently taking part in the US Masters T10 League, representing Morisville Unity.