Is Jasprit Bumrah the best bowler of World Cup 2019?

That Jasprit Bumrah would do well in the ICC World Cup 2019 was well known. The 25-year-old from India has been one of the best fast bowlers in the world for a while now and going into the World Cup 2019 it was expected that Bumrah would leave his mark.

And he has done exactly that. In his maiden ODI World Cup appearance, Bumrah has picked up 17 wickets in 8 games at a superb average of 19.52 and a terrific economy of 4.48. He has been responsible for India’s great performance in the competition with the ball and has been the clear leader of the bowling unit.

In fact, throughout the competition there have been two fast bowlers who have really stood out, Bumrah and Australia’s Mitchell Starc. While Starc has got more wickets – 26 wickets in 9 matches at 16.61- Bumrah has been no less effective. He generates pace with such a short run up that batsmen are often hurried up. Plus, his unusual bowling action makes it difficult for batsmen to gauge at what length and speed the ball would be coming.

In fact, former West Indian fast bowler and commentator Ian Bishop does feel Bumrah has been the best bowler in this World Cup. “He’s been maybe the best bowler,” Bishop was quoted as saying recently. “The wickets don’t show how valuable he has been. The likes of Starc have more, but Bumrah’s been brilliant.”

Bishop is correct in his assessment of Bumrah. He hasn’t been getting as many wickets as he deserves despite bowing exceptionally well because batsmen tend to see him out. That is why Bumrah’s economy of 4.48 is better that Starc’s 5.18.

In his first spell, Bumrah is relentless at the stumps and rarely bowls any loose deliveries. He is called upon for a second spell in the middle-overs to take important wickets when a partnership is building. And his third spell is in the death overs when it is almost impossible to hit him with his pin-point yorkers and slower off-cutters. Bumrah has delivered on all three counts in almost all the games he has played in the tourney so far.

His ability to bowl with the new ball effectively and make the ball move away from the batsman after pitching on length makes him really difficult to handle. At the death, Bumrah mixes his pace and length and bowls some incredible yorkers that even the set batsmen can’t get away – a rampaging Ben Stokes struggling to dig out Bumrah’s yorkers and eventually falling to him in England’s game against India at Edgbaston is a perfect case in point.

Undoubtedly, Jasprit Bumrah has been an absolute sensation in the World Cup and captain Virat Kohli must be thanking his stars for having such a dependable bowling option in his ranks. At such a young age, Bumrah has shown amazing maturity and class. The performance in his maiden World Cup, against the best teams and the best batsmen, must have done his confidence a world of good. Where India eventually ends up in World Cup 2019, there is no denying now that the legend of Jasprit Bumrah will only go stronger from here.

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