The unorthodox bowler is disciplined and determined to make it big
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We have heard and read stories of several cricketers who have bunked classes during their school days to play a game of cricket. But, right-arm fast-medium bowler Jasprit Bumrah wasn’t one of those. His mum was the principal of the school he went to, and he had a disciplined routine. Instead, the 5’7” youngster practiced cricket in his living room, and watched other bowlers intently on television.

“I wasn’t too tall, and I would play indoors for extended periods of time. I was always fond of bowling so that’s what I used to pay more attention to when I watched the sport on TV. I took my interest forward and I am glad it worked out, because I had no back-up plan,” said the Mumbai Indians bowler.

Though the natural pacer is just 23 years old, he exhibits a maturity far beyond his years. “Have you ever seen Roger Federer tense or not calm? He always seems to be in control and I try to emulate that. In pressure situations, I try to remain composed and that’s the strength that I try to take forward,” says Bumrah acknowledging this trait as one of the biggest factors that has gotten him so far.

This cool and collected approach came to his team’s rescue during the super over in the match against Gujarat Lions last week. The key wicket-taker successfully defended 11 runs against the experienced batsmen Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum by being accurate with his yorkers and throwing in a few slow deliveries as well.

His uncanny ability to hit the blockhole has been rewarded with several key wickets, but the young pacer has drawn criticism for his unorthodox, almost sling-arm peculiar release bowling action, with several critics worrying that he runs the risk of frequent injury. But Bumrah shakes his head in disagreement, “This criticism doesn’t affect me because every bowler gets injured some time or the other during his or her career, no matter how orthodox or perfect their bowling action is. It all depends on your body type and fitness levels.”

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Speaking of fitness regimen, the Gujarat Ranji Trophy bowler follows his skill-oriented routine thoroughly, which also includes running and gymming. As a committed sportsman, he does not deter from his nutritionist-recommended diet, which means – “Unfortunately, no roti, sweetmeat or fried food. But includes plenty of grilled chicken, tandoori chicken, fish and paneer. I eat a bit of carbs, in the form of mashed potatoes and rice because I need the sustained energy for future matches. This diet has helped my game. Cheat days are very few and far in between so I value them immensely. When given the green signal, I would binge on burgers, Indian sweets and biryani.”

The unorthodox bowler attributes his discipline to his mum and reveals that the major change he has incorporated in his diet is the inclusion of breakfast - “I know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I would often skip it. I have been categorically told not to do so anymore. So, I eat a full-ish breakfast of baked beans, chicken sausages and omelette.”

Watch Jasprit Bumrah with Suresh Raina, in conversation with Sandeep Patil on Taste Match, Sunday, May 7, at 8pm, only on Living Foodz.

Creative courtesy: Vartika Pahuja

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