Bumrah, the master of death-over stifles

All-star of the match

The only thing predictable about Jasprit Bumrah's death bowling are his yorkers. Yet, it's the unpredictable element - bounce - when he takes pace off that has undone many top batsmen this season. Some deliveries wobble through, some deviate off a crack, some get stuck in on the surface and rear up to surprise batsmen, few others hold their line. Incredibly, all from nearly the same length.

The confidence with which he executes in the death overs is admirable, like he did on Tuesday, and often proves to be the game-changer. His two end overs fetched ten runs, returned three wickets and turned around a flagging campaign into one where Mumbai Indians can even dream of a play-off berth by simply winning their final match.

The effectiveness stems from minimal change in wrist position as he delivers the ball. It's still during his load-up, remains that way up until the last split-second of his release. Something that didn't come easily. With repeated practice comes the mastery, one that has now delivered two crucial spells against Kings XI this season.

The first one in Indore was about building dot balls and restricting runs on a ground with short square boundaries. He bowled 11 dots, finished with 1 for 19 by conceding just nine off the 17th and 19th overs, even as the 18th and 20th were picked for 31. Here, KL Rahul and Aaron Finch were having fun. Their century stand threatened a shuddering halt to Mumbai's campaign. Bumrah's two overs were Rohit's last roll of the dice and he delivered with two skiddy bouncers that removed Finch and Marcus Stoinis. The over went for just four.

Then he came back to bowl his final over after watching Rahul reverse scoop Ben Cutting with disdain. The equation - 23 off 12 - well within reach of a batsman unbeaten on 93 off 58. A stellar over that goes went for six eventually left Kings XI with a little too many to get off their final over.

The wow moment

The sight of KL Rahul's exasperation after he mishit Bumrah to long-off! It was a result of deception right out of the top drawer. The slow offcutter pitched a hint outside off and deviated minutely back in even as Rahul attempted to belt this through the line. In doing so, he slightly misread the length. The ball gripped on the surface little more than Rahul anticipated, and then flew off the toe-end to long-off. Rohit's roar of joy and his dash in celebration was a hint that the slower-ball plan had worked.

The numbers

  • The Smart Runs, part of ESPNcricinfo's new T20 metrics, suggest Bumrah saved 19 runs for his side in the four overs he bowled

  • Something about the death overs gives Bumrah a kick. He has picked up 13 wickets in 20 overs during that phase and three wickets in 30 overs across other phases

What they said

"Lasith Malinga will be missed, but we knew that Bumrah must take the charge and he's done it beautifully. Coming out, bowling at difficult times against batsmen who are set and getting the job done is incredible and that's what we expect from him."
Rohit Sharma on what he expects from his trumpcard

"Clarity is important when you bowl at the death. I look for that. If I'm clear, it's easier to execute.
Jasprit Bumrah on his simple mantra