Rohit Sharma’s trusted Lieutenant Jasprit Bumrah says the Indian skipper has always had unwavering faith in his abilities, supporting him to bowl major overs even when he was new to Mumbai Indians, and now giving him the freedom to do things his way to do. If we are to believe Bumrah, then Rohit has played a pivotal role in his development as one of the world’s best fast bowlers. “When I came on the side Ricky (Ponting) was the captain and I didn’t play regularly. I started playing a lot under Rohit, he had a lot of confidence in me. He instilled a lot of confidence,” said Bumrah during a conversation with Indian team-mate Ravichandran Ashwin in the senior off-spinner’s episode ‘DRS With Ash’ on his YouTube channel.
“He (Rohit) saw me bowling at nets, he saw what kind of skills I have so he always supported me and always told me to believe in myself and also in the early stages he had a lot of confidence in me so he will give the important overs.
“That tells me that okay, I can do the job, sometimes you still try to convince that, okay, maybe it’s the right decision that I do the heavy lifting, but they put you in the hard zone, so then you you a way out. The relationship has been the same.” Since popping up with the IPL in 2013 and the international arena in 2016, Bumrah has become a fine pacesetter, and his unorthodox action only adds to the whole thing.
Both Rohit and Bumrah have been synonymous with five-time winners Mumbai Indians unprecedented success in the IPL.
About Rohit, Bumrah continued, “he has a lot of confidence in me so far and so now we’ve reached a point where he doesn’t even tell me what you want to do. He says ‘you only set the field’ and if there are changes, then tell me and I will do it'”.
“That amount of trust has happened. He’s had that trust because he followed what I’ve said, asked for a field and it’s worked, so the relationship has really developed.
Known for his calm demeanor, Rohit leads the team by example, something that impressed Bumrah.
“It’s always very chill, some days it might not go well, but he’s always kept the atmosphere in our team very simple and he’s always tried to keep it very calm. All these things really helped me as a cricketer, maybe don’t get overwhelmed.
“He has a lot of confidence and that’s always the best place for me as a bowler because then I have the freedom to do what I want. That’s really beneficial for me as a bowler and it’s very important for me to move forward.”
I don’t want to chase the captain
Named vice-captain for the ongoing series against Sri Lanka, Bumrah said he won’t go around looking for “mail”, but “will never shrink” from the responsibility of leading a team if given one.
“I don’t like chasing things because I don’t want to… Look, I’m a person who believes that God has a plan and that everything will find its own way, so I don’t like to follow the plan. hinder that’s there, I never try to change anything.
“Whatever role is asked of me, I would do the best I can. I don’t want to change the whole organization, you are always a leader when you are a senior member of the team, so it’s just a position that goes with you with you.
“Basically, you try to help all people in whatever capacity you can. Even in Mumbai Indians you have a lot of senor players, but now I’m one of the older players too, so you help the captain, you help everyone, you takes the lead, even if you are not asked to.
“That’s the way I look at it. I never want, you know, just for personal satisfaction, okay, I want to be in this, I have to be the captain. It’s just a post, it’s just a name, you have to do your job and you have to help people as best you can.
“Yes, if given a chance in any scenario it would be an honor and I would never shy away from that, but it’s something I’m not going to look for.”
Never realized I had an unorthodox action
The fast bowler went on to admit that he never realized he had an unorthodox action until his IPL journey began.
“I didn’t realize the action was so fascinating and eventually people started to analyze that. But for me, as I told you, I was more interested in getting new stuff. I have that big inswinger, but I didn’t have any that outsider.
“From childhood I wanted to be able to bowl all the deliveries. I enjoyed all those deliveries as a kid, I was never interested in watching big sixs or high scoring games.
“I was interested in watching stumps being rattled, people being hit. But hey, not being hit seriously!” said Bumrah.
During the call, Bumrah also opened his first call to the Mumbai Indians camp.
The 28-year-old revealed during a netting session that he had harassed the legendary Ponting with his deliveries.
“Actually, I had gone to the Mumbai Indians camp and I had no intention of playing the first match because me and Axar Patel got to the camp late. We played in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. We were late to the camp called,” said Bumrah.
“The team was already practicing in Bangalore and we only practiced with the team for two days. There the practice wickets were very green and in 2013 the white ball swung.
“So I was bowling with the new ball. I bowled to Ricky Ponting and I bowled those big inswingers.
“I harassed everyone and I took him (Ponting) out two or three times, so they had a discussion about me that ‘this guy has something different and let’s play him,'” Bumrah said.
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