Jasprit Bumrah was sold to Mumbai Indians for INR 1.2 crore. Bharath Ramaraj analyses whether he was worth the staggering amount that was spent on him by Mumbai.
When the Ahmedabad born 20-yar old medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah, with an ungainly stop and start action and with a farmer-like gait, bowled dibbly dobblers against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), the inkling was that he would turn into a cannon fodder for Bangalore’s star studded batting line-up. Instead, he reigned supreme and took three key wickets in the game which included that of captain, Virat Kohli. He didn’t take another wicket that season, but those three scalps caught the eye of Mumbai Indians’ (MI) think-tank, as he was bought back by them for a staggering sum of INR 1.2 crore.
As everyone scratched their heads and wondered in disbelief how could Bumrah, with his dibbly dobblers, take home a cool Rs 1.2 crore, the young man must have erupted in joy. Now, this isn’t to suggest that he isn’t worth a buy, but every time, one watches Bumrah bowl, it is hard to envisage the price he fetched for his rather mundane medium pacers. Unlike a slew of other utility cricketers going around, he is not known for his batting prowess either.
The rationale behind the price he fetched can be related to tracks in Mumbai especially, at Wankhede stadium the ball can grip a bit for military medium-pacers to make their presence felt with prosaic skills. Yes, his domestic record on the face of it is very good too.
In fact, his very first IPL game turned out to be an interesting one. Kohli in murderous mood went hammer and tongs at his bowling to thwack him for three consecutive boundaries, before he was trapped in front, while playing all over a delivery that swung and swerved a wee bit in the air. Emboldened by passing through the impervious hurdle of taking Kohli’s wicket, he went onto snare two more wickets in the match. His success can be a testament to his burgeoning self-belief, as he doesn’t have too many weapons to make an impact. In short, there is no real fizz or spunk in his bowling.
Just like previous IPL auctions, this year too it has been an auction full of surprises. Those who looked set to be picked went unsold and there were some obscure picks. The fact of the matter is there are occasions when one has to trust your eyes rather than just cold facts. Jasprit Bumrah just doesn’t come across as someone who can match the price for which he was sold to Mumbai.
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)
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