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T20 World Cup 2024: I try to stay in the present, says Bumrah after India beats Pakistan in low-scoring thriller

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New York

Play out Jasprit Bumrah safely. Look for scoring options elsewhere. This is the game plan used by all teams—international or IPL – when facing the gun-quick.

Pakistan must have intended to follow this obvious logic too, except the message was not received by Mohammed Rizwan. In the 15th over of the chase against India on Sunday, Rizwan went on the offensive to Bumrah.

The stupefying move backfired. Rizwan lost his stumps, and from a comfortable position, Pakistan lost the plot.

Rizwan must have known the high risk involved, given Bumrah’s spectacular recent form. The Gujarat fast bowler has made the perfect comeback from a back injury, that forced him out of action for nearly a year.

The early signs of a full recovery came in the 2023 ODI World Cup, when Bumrah was among the standout performers with 20 wickets at an economy rate of 4.06.

By the time IPL 2024 came around, Bumrah was nearly unplayable. The Mumbai Indians may have had a forgettable season, but Bumrah was in a different league.

IND vs PAK, T20 World Cup 2024: Pakistan falters as India wins battle of attrition

The yorkers, cutters, bouncers, zip off the pitch – prime Bumrah was back.

Two matches into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Bumrah leads the Indian charge with ‘Player of the Match’ performances in both outings. His 3-0-6-2 against Ireland was a sampler, while his 4-0-14-3 returns on Sunday was the main course.

Bumrah jolted Pakistan in the Powerplay by removing captain Babar Azam with a sharp rising delivery and finished the job in his second spell.

The 30-year-old is perhaps at the peak of his powers now, even if he is not one to bask in such praise. “A year ago, the same people were saying that I might not play again, and that my career is over. Now the question has changed,” Bumrah said in the post-match press conference.

“I don’t look at that. I was trying to focus on what is the best option on a wicket like this. How do I make shot-making difficult? What are the best options for me? I try to stay in the present. If I look at the outside noise, if pressure and emotion takes over, then things don’t really work for me. I try to create my own bubble,” Bumrah said.

Bumrah spoke on the importance of claiming the big wicket of Rizwan. “In my third over – that was a crucial stage. If that over went in Pakistan’s favour, then the game would have also gone in their favour,” Bumrah said.

To buck the trend on this New York pitch, where sides fielding first have an advantage, was particularly pleasing. “When we were batting in the morning, there was a lot more help for the bowlers. When we bowled, the ball had stopped seaming and there wasn’t a lot of lateral movement. We were very calm and very clear on what we had to do,” Bumrah stated.

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