Was a tight game & I backed my yorkers: Bumrah
Mohammed Shami, with his hat-trick, was certainly key to India’s close 11-run win against Afghanistan in Saturday’s World Cup game in Southampton.
But before that final over, which Shami bowled, Jasprit Bumrah was spot-on with his immaculate line and length in the 49th that went for only five runs and tilted the scales in India’s favour.
With figures of two for 39 off his 10 overs on a pitch getting slower and slower, Bumrah was adjudged the Man of the Match.
Acknowledging captain Virat Kohli’s faith in him that helps in his execution, Bumrah said he backed his yorkers to get the job done for India.
“It gives you a lot of confidence when the captain has so much trust on you. That gives me a lot of confidence to express myself and helps me keep a clear head in terms of how I want to execute.
“Over here, we saw that wicket was getting slower and slower. So, with the older ball, we needed to be more accurate and bowl stump to stump.
“This is a big ground and there was reverse swing, but we needed to rely on slowers and yorkers as well and play according to the situation. It was a tight game and I backed my yorkers,” Bumrah said at the post-match presentation.
Explaining how he utilises Bumrah, skipper Kohli said: “We wanted to use him smartly keeping the conditions in mind. He gets a longer spell because he can pick up wickets. He can get you as many as four wickets in his spell.
“He is the bowler who can do the damage at any stage of the innings and the opposition knows that as well. We wanted to finish him off in the 49th over so that Shami had enough runs to defend in the final over and yeah, the plan worked really well.”
Talking about Shami, Kohli highlighted the pacer’s first spell, which was probing enough, creating pressure on the Afghans.
“Shami was really good today and especially his first spell, he was making the ball do more than anyone else,” Kohli emphasised.
Even Bumrah was all praise for his fellow pacer, suggesting how good the camaraderie within the team is. “Shami getting a hat-trick is very good because such performances lead to healthy competition in the side.
“We are a well-knit unit and us bowlers always discuss what our plans are, we should do on the field and how things are going. It’s certainly a good sign when everyone is chipping in with the wickets,” Bumrah said.
Meanwhile, admitting that India’s shot selection could have been better, Kohli praised his team for showing character and bouncing back after being restricted to a modest total of 224/8.
“Our shot selection could have been much better and I think a lot of horizontal-bat shots cost us wickets… This game was way more important, to be honest, as I said it didn’t go as per plan.”