Off The Field

‘World’s best bowler bowling one over’: Brett Lee tear into Hardik Pandya’s strange Bumrah tactics

Written by Shreyas Vyas

Australian cricket stars Brett Lee and Steve Smith were left scratching their heads at Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya’s tactics in an IPL 2024 match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Pandya introduced Jasprit Bumrah as a first-change bowler after opting to field first but mysteriously, he took his ace bowler off after bowling just one over. Bumrah gave away only five runs in his first over but didn’t bowl another one in the powerplay despite Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma smacking the MI bowlers to all parts of the ground, scoring their highest powerplay total (81) ever.

That was not it. Pandya delayed Bumrah’s second spell by as much as the 13th over of the SRH innings. By that time, Abhishek and Head had created havoc, by becoming the first pair to notch up half-centuries in less than 20 balls in IPL. SRH’s score was 173/3 in 12 overs when Bumrah was brought back into the attack. On most days, that is a respectable T20 total.

Brett Lee said MI got their bowling attack totally wrong. “I think Mumbai Indians got their bowling wrong… Jasprit Bumrah should have bowled the first over. In the last two games when Jasprit Bumrah has come onto bowl, they’ve been none for 42 and today, they were none for 42 again when he came onto bowl. The game is already set up. Put that aside, Klaasen was pure class tonight, didn’t matter who was bowling, you were going to get crunched,” Lee told Jio Cinema.

Bumrah was the second-most economical bowler in the match, after SRH captain Pat Cummins (2/35), conceding 36 runs in his four overs which did not yield any wickets.

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Shreyas Vyas