Mumbai Indians (MI) dropped catches after catches. They made some silly errors on the field and they had absolutely no business winning the game. Yes, they were the best team of the tournament, but dropping the opposition’s best batsman who can tear you apart multiple times is close to committing a crime.
However, if there is one man who deserved to win that final, it was Jasprit Bumrah. He gave his everything without looking desperate. Yes, everyone wants to win the IPL title, they want to badly win that final to be able to lift that trophy. But not for a second did Bumrah get agitated despite multiple chances going begging. What was clear was he wanted to get the job done. He was calm, composed, collected and everything seemed clear for the man who has become the national team’s premier bowler across all three formats in no time.
Throughout this season, Bumrah never picked up a bulk of wickets. 19 wickets from 16 games seem like good returns when it’s combined with an economy of 6.63. However, there’s more to it. Bumrah picked up just one three-wicket haul this season and it came in just MI’s second game of the season. However, the impact he creates is on another level. Bumrah runs in and plays with the mind of the batsmen. That’s what he did throughout the season and more importantly, in the final.
150 is not a big target but MI have defended a couple of lower scores in the final before (148 in 2013 and 129 in 2017). What made it looking challenging was MI’s bowling attack and the presence of a certain Jasprit Bumrah. Every time, the Gujarat pacer came on to bowl, you could sense something was going to happen, not necessarily a wicket or a boundary. There seemed a plan behind every delivery he bowled.
There was a little bit of spice in the pitch early on but Rohit held Bumrah back. He kept waiting for the right moment and Bumrah too was happy to be bowling anywhere and everywhere.
Bumrah was given the ball for the first time in the fifth over when Suresh Raina walked in. Bumrah made him smell leather straightaway and the world knows Raina is just not comfortable against the short ball. MI’s premier pacer kept Raina on his toes throughout the over.
He was then brought back just when CSK lost their second wicket. MI wanted a breakthrough and Bumrah is their go-to man and he did not disappoint. Bumrah dismissed Ambati Rayudu with a very good bouncer. MS Dhoni walked in and he almost had him first ball. Bumrah’s figures after the first two overs read 2-0-6-1.
Lots and lots of drama unfolded until Bumrah came back in the 17th over. Dhoni was runout with it being a matter of millimetres and frames. Shane Watson took Lasith Malinga to the cleaners right before Bumrah was brought back.
First ball of his death overs spell, Bumrah had Watson top-edging and Rahul Chahar who had bowled really well fluffed a simple and straightforward chance. Despite that drop, Bumrah conceded just four runs in that over, including a bye. Krunal Pandya then conceded three sixes but once again Bumrah pulled it back in the penultimate over. Nine runs came in the 19th over and four of them were byes which came off the last ball when Quinton de Kock missed an easy take.
It was a template throughout the season. At the death, Bumrah simply kept churning out classics bringing MI back in the game despite the pressure being relented from the other end. He kept doing his job and he did that better in the IPL.
Bumrah finished his spell with figures of 2/14 from four overs. He bowled 13 dot balls and did not concede a single boundary. He bowled fabulously at the death which kept MI in the game. But what was even impressive was the way he reacted to the dropped chances and the errors. When Chahar dropped one, all Bumrah did was smile. And then came another beautiful moment when de Kock let one through on the final ball off the penultimate over. He went to the South African keeper, put his arm around and tried calming him down.
Any other bowler would’ve stared at the fielder, vented out his frustration, his facial expressions would suggest bitter disappointment. Those were the moments that were proving to be very costly, but Bumrah just remained absolutely calm and ice-cool in that situation.
Malinga bowled a brilliant final over and a brilliant final ball to help MI win their fourth IPL title. But if not for Bumrah, this would have never gone that far.
Jasprit Bumrah! It is one name that has become the heartthrob of the cricketing world. When he clutched his shoulder in MI’s very first game of the season, the heartbeat of millions stopped. But he came back fit and firing in just a couple of days, much to the delight of everybody.
Bumrah is someone who will never say die. He has shown that time and again and he showed it once again in the final. The calm and cool nature helped big time. In fact, he was himself surprised at how calm he was. “Today, surprisingly, I was very calm, I wasn’t panicking at all and very happy to contribute to the team’s success. I only take one ball and one day at a time and if you think like that you don’t feel pressure at all,” Bumrah was quoted saying after the win.