Bumrah bamboozles England with subtle change in action

India pacer Jasprit Bumrah is keeping England batsmen on their toes as they struggle to distinguish his action for outswinger from the one with which he delivers inswinger.

Bumrah’s return to form after a lacklustre performance in the World Test Championship (WTC) final was one of the high points for India in the first Test which ended in a draw after the fifth and final day was washed out.

“There is very little change in his action from his inswinger to his outswinger. He varies at the crease as to where his delivery points are. He has a slightly different run-up and action,” England batsman Jonny Bairstow told media on Wednesday, the eve of the second Test which begins at Lord’s.

The right-arm pacer, who picked nine wickets in the first Test including a five-for, got India early breakthroughs at Trent Bridge and also removed Joe Root in the second innings when the England captain was looking good to build on his century.

“Bumrah has got amazing skills. He is a world-class bowler. We have seen that in the IPL (Indian Premier League), we’ve seen in white-ball cricket for India and now also with red-ball cricket,” Bairstow added.

Despite having been fairly new to Test cricket and having played just 21 Tests, Bumrah has plenty of Test match experience in England. He has played five Tests in the country.

“If I am not wrong, I think Bumrah has played somewhere around 20 (21) Tests and about six (five) of them have been in England so there will be times when bowlers adapt according to certain conditions. In some conditions, they will be more suited. But you got to give him credit,” Bairstow added.

Bairstow refused to confirm the status of Stuart Broad and James Anderson, who are both unlikely to play the second Test due to niggles. The batsman said that the duo’s experience will be missed.

“We don’t have much information. We know that Broad has gone for scans, we don’t know anything else,” said the 31-year-old.

“It (Their absence) would [affect our bowling]. Naturally they have 1000 wickets between them. But with their absence, opportunities arise for others,” he added.