India pacer Jasprit Bumrah picks 2 wickets in very first over of comeback international game against Ireland
Bumrah last played for India in a white-ball game against Australia in September 2022.
India captain Jasprit Bumrah (third from left) celebrates a wicket during the 1st T20I match against Ireland, at The Village, in Dublin, Ireland, on Friday, August 18, 2023. (ANI Photo)
ALL eyes were on Jasprit Bumrah as India took the field against Ireland in the first of their three T20s in Malahide near Dublin and the pacer, who is playing international cricket after 11 months, did not disappoint the fans. The 29-year-old pacer, who is known for an unconventional bowling action, picked two wickets in the very first over of the match to leave the hosts’ top order rattled.
Bumrah, who is also leading India in the series, came up with his strong response to critics who doubted his effectiveness after remaining out of the game for a long time due to a back stress fracture. He did not hold back and made inroads into the Ireland batting order in the second delivery of the game by castling opener Andrew Balbirnie (4 off 2 balls). He struck again in the fifth ball of the over when wicket-keeper-batter Lorcan Tucker’s attempt to hit an improvised shot over the Indian keeper’s head misfired and he was caught by the gloveman Sanju Samson for no score.
Bumrah’s remaining three overs did not yield any wicket and he settled for two for 24 in his four overs and India restricted Ireland to 139 for 7 in 20 overs.
The pacer, who is also the first bowler to captain India in the shortest format, did not have an ideal start. His first delivery was a loosener which Balbirnie hit for a boundary. But the ace bowler returned to claim the batter in the very next ball.
The playing conditions suited swing bowling and Bumrah and his team ensured that India’s bowling did not allow Ireland to get away. The captain’s opening partner Arshdeep Singh picked one wicket while young pacer Prasidh Krishna and spinner Ravi Bishnoi claimed two scalps each.
India are desperately trying to get Bumrah to play two marquee tournaments coming up — Asia Cup and World Cup over the next three months. He missed the Asia Cup and World Cup (both in T20 formats) last year and India failed to make the finals in either of them.