India paceman Jasprit Bumrah says his short run-up is a product of his youth when playing backyard cricket gave him little space to build up a head of steam, but his approach allows him to bowl long spells in Tests without compromising on speed.
The right-arm quick consistently bowls above 140kph, despite his relatively brief run-up, and batsmen find him particularly tricky because of his unorthodox sling-arm action.
“The run-up is because of playing in the backyard,” the 26-year-old said in the International Cricket Council’s “Inside Out” video series. “We didn’t have a lot of space when I used to play as a child. This was the longest run-up you could have, so maybe that could be a reason. I’ve tried a longer run-up and nothing changes — the speed is still the same. So why run so much?”
It comes especially handy in Test matches, he said.
“When I’m bowling my fourth spell, fifth spell, I’m relatively more fresh than the bowlers who play with me and have a longer run-up. This was my theory,” Bumrah said.
“This is not the best thing I should say, but I am bowling quicker than them in my fourth spell as well. So I think I should stick to it,” he added.
“If I have some physical difficulty and if it’s giving me some trouble, then I’ll find solutions, but if it’s not broken, why fix it?” he added.
With a ban looming on the use of saliva to shine the ball when cricket resumes after the COVID-19 shutdown, Bumrah said there should be an alternative to help maintain the balance between bat and ball.
“The grounds are getting shorter and shorter, the wickets are becoming flatter and flatter,” he said. “So we need some alternative for the bowlers to maintain the ball so that it can do something — maybe reverse in the end or conventional swing.”
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