Worth the wait: After rehab, Bumrah returns with longer run-up, bigger follow-through

The Gujarat slinger was mostly bowling at 80 to 85 mph but it is expected that he will go full burst as he plays more and more games.

Published: 19th August 2023 06:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2023 06:43 PM   |  A+A-

India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with teammates during the 1st T20 cricket match against Ireland, at The Village stadium in Malahide, Ireland, Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. (Photo | PTI)


NEW DELHI: It took exactly 10 months and 23 days for Jasprit Bumrah to wear the India 'Blues' but it was worth the wait as the speedster looks all set to spearhead India's World Cup campaign with a slight tweak in his action to prevent big injuries in near future.

While the Indian cricket establishment will need to handle its most prized asset with utmost care, people in the know of things feel that post surgery and extensive rehabilitation, Bumrah can continue playing all three formats as he knows his body very well.

During the first T20 International against Ireland in Malahide, it wasn't just his figures of 2 for 24 in 4 overs which brought a lot of relief and joy to the Indian team management but also knowing the process that he has undergone while doing rehabilitation and 'Return to Play' at the NCA in Bengaluru.

"Prior to his stress fracture breakdown, if you closely watch Bumrah's bowling videos, he would first briskly walk six to seven steps and then load up at the bowling crease on his seventh stride to unleash his thunderbolts," a NCA Level-III certified coach told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

"While watching him bowl against Ireland, one could witness that he has increased his run-up by 2-3 strides with a bigger follow through compared to earlier times. It's not a massive revamp of his action but a slight bit of remodelling in order to stay injury free for a long time," the coach added.

So why did Bumrah need to add a few more strides to his run-up? "It is all about having an increased momentum which is a must for tearaway quick bowlers," the coach explained.

ALSO READ | Rejuvenated Bumrah ready to roar again

"Boom was earlier like a fighter jet. Even shorter run-up after a few rapid walking strides meant that entire pace that he generated came from the thrust provided by his shoulder and back. The injury was bound to happen because his run-up hardly gave him any momentum. But post injury, he has increased I guess 2-3 strides at the max. Now fast bowling requires strong legs. The slightly longer run-up is giving him time to build the momentum and allow his legs to be a force multiplier. And then a slightly longer follow-through that puts less pressure on the back just after release. I am sure this will help him in curbing injuries in future," he observed.

The Gujarat slinger was mostly bowling at 80 to 85 mph but it is expected that he will go full burst as he plays more and more games.

"Pace comes with rhythm. The best part was that he looked very fit and as he builds miles in his legs, the pace will automatically increase with every game," the coach added.

Muscle memory is a big thing in sport and when a player is trying out a new thing, it does take some time to get ingrained into his system.

"The NCA's designated coaches must have worked with Bumrah but those who have seen him from close quarter over the past seven years, feel that he doesn't exactly have a coach. The decision to slightly increase stride and bigger follow through is purely his decision with coaches helping him. He must have at least practised for a month, built on his muscle memory before trying that out in a match," he further added.

Bumrah, who is leading India in the three-match series against Ireland, had said at the pre-series media conference that he has been bowling 12 to 15 overs a day at training with an eye on the ODI World Cup.

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