Bowling with the Dukes ball has helped Jasprit Bumrah become a lethal weapon
Jasprit Bumrah: "If we win the match I am fine if I don't get wickets as well." © AFP

A day after he became only the third Indian to take a Test hat-trick, Jasprit Bumrah opened up a little on the skills and process that have made him a feared pace bowler and, arguably, the most exciting pace prospect to emerge from domestic cricket in decades.

During the first Test at Antigua, Bumrah, 25, claimed the most economical five-wicket hail by an Indian bowler (5/7) to bowl India to a 318-run victory. On day two of the ongoing second Test at Sabina Park, his six wickets helped reduce West Indies to 87/7 following Hanuma Vihari’s maiden century.

Bumrah took the first four West Indies wickets to fall, and three of them came in a stunning hat-trick that was just the third for an Indian bowler after Harbhajan Singh in 2001 and Irfan Pathan in 2006.


He ended West Indies’ first innings with figures of 6/27 from 12.2 overs, which means in this two-Test series Bumrah has 12 wickets at 8.75 apiece, while taking a wicket every 22 deliveries.

How has Bumrah, who made his Test debut in January 2018, surged to 61 wickets in his 12th Test?

In his own words, bowling with the Dukes ball has been a big factor.

“I played a lot of cricket in England, we played a lot of Test matches, we bowled with the Duke ball. There is a lot of movement with the Duke ball, you get a lot of confidence in outswing, inswing, whatever you’re trying. So, that experience helped me out,” Bumrah told reporters at the end of day three at Sabina Park.


What has stood out during Bumrah’s domination of West Indies’ batsmen in these two Tests is the ability to swing the ball away and into them, which has made him appear very lethal in these conditions. Bumrah said his focus was hitting the right lengths to tempt poor shots and force the West Indians to err in judgement, especially against fuller-length deliveries.

jasprit bumrah hat trick wicket
Virat Kohli celebrates animatedly after helping Jasprit Bumrah claim his hat-trick. © AFP

It was vital, he stressed, to not look to bump the batsmen thinking that the Caribbean pitches would aid short-pitched bowling.

“In bouncy wickets, you can be greedy and you look to bowl short but you should not do that – you should bowl in good areas, create pressure and try and bowl full, so that was the plan going into the first innings. We were just trying to assess the situation as soon as possible and try and bowl accordingly,” said Bumrah.

“[In the] first innings I changed my end because the breeze was going from this end to that end and we wanted to use the inswinger and see how it goes. We tried to do that and it worked. We pitched the ball up.”

(READ: I owe my hat-trick to you, captain: Bumrah tells Kohli)

Bumrah’s exceptional Test career, which has spanned 12 matches from his debut in South Africa in January 2018, has seen him claim five-wicket hauls in each overseas tour – South Africa, England, Australia and the West Indies (twice) – and now a hat-trick.

During the Antigua Test, Bumrah had become he third-fastest Indian bowler to 50 wickets in Tests. He stressed that landmarks and milestones were not for him.

“If we win the match I am fine if I don’t get wickets as well. My aim is – how can I contribute towards the team’s success, be it taking wickets, creating pressure, however I can contribute, that is the way I go forward,” said Bumrah.