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From pace spearhead to nightwatchman, Jasprit Bumrah busy in Adelaide

Jasprit Bumrah found himself in the thick of things on Friday when India's pace spearhead doubled up as the nightwatchman to help his team consolidate their position in the day-night test against Australia in Adelaide.

By: Reuters | December 18, 2020 9:38:53 pm
India's Jasprit Bumrah bowls to Australia on the second day of their cricket test match at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, Australia, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/James Elsby)

Jasprit Bumrah found himself in the thick of things on Friday when India’s pace spearhead doubled up as the nightwatchman to help his team consolidate their position in the day-night test against Australia in Adelaide.

After India folded for a middling 244, the onus was on Bumrah to deny Australia a strong start and the right-arm quick with an unorthodox bowling action did not disappoint.

Bumrah trapped both the openers lbw, Matthew Wade with an angling delivery and Joe Burns with a trademark yorker, to trigger a top-order collapse.

Australia, reeling at 79-5, eventually were all out for 191 as India eked out a handy if not handsome 53-run first innings lead.

Bumrah capped an eventful day by facing 11 balls as the nightwatchman, ducking cleverly and blocking confidently to end with his wicket intact.

Team mate Ravichandran Ashwin was not surprised by Bumrah’s assured batting.”Jasprit is an extremely competitive cricketer, he really likes to take a battle on,” Ashwin, who claimed 4-55, said as India moved 62 runs ahead with nine wickets in hand.

“He made a fifty in the warm-up match. He looks at home when he’s defending. So it was a no-brainer as far as the team was concerned.”

It was a busy day for Bumrah but not everything went according to plan.

The 27-year-old was unusually sloppy when another Australian wicket was on offer.Marnus Labuschagne was on 12 when he top-edged a Mohammed Shami bouncer but Bumrah spilled it in the deep, appearing distracted by the fear of touching the boundary rope.

Bumrah had to endure the same heartbreak twice when he was the luckless bowler as Prithvi Shaw dropped Labuschagne and Mayank Agarwal floored Tim Paine’s hook, both at square leg.Labuschagne went on to make 47 as India nosed ahead on a dramatic second day at the Adelaide Oval.

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