Jasprit Bumrah, one of the architects of India’s clinical win at The Oval, has addressed the team’s critics. He remarked that the Indian players aren’t the ones to “find needles in everything” and always try to give their best irrespective of the conditions or what people from the outside say.
Jasprit Bumrah produced a breathtaking spell on the final day, taking out Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow for a combined two runs in an exhibition of reverse-swing bowling. The twin strikes pushed a domino for England’s batting collapse, which ultimately saw the hosts skittled out 157 runs short of the target.
“We are just focussing on the good things. We are focussing on the things we can control and we have won such a wonderful Test match. Obviously, we as a team are a bunch of individuals who are very happy and fun loving people who are not always looking to find needles in everything. Yes, obviously, this is how the game of Test cricket goes, sometimes things go, and sometimes things don’t go your way. But we always give our best and even when the wicket was a little fresh and our score was on the lower side, we didn’t lose shape as a team and we did not think about a lot of things that were said and written,” Jasprit Bumrah said in the post-match press conference.
“We are very happy as a team, we wanted to contribute [together] and fight till the end. That’s the character we wanted to show. And obviously the things that were going outside, we wanted to address them later once the match is over.”
Jasprit Bumrah’s message is arguably aimed at the questions that were raised about the team’s selection, as well as the potshots they courted after the defeat in the last Test and the collapse in the first innings on Day 1 here.
“Our job is to create pressure and maintain the discipline” – Jasprit Bumrah
This win would be one of the most satisfying for Jasprit Bumrah and Co. for more reasons than just proving the critics wrong. That’s because it came on a pitch that had little for the bowlers, especially the pacers, and they still managed to pick up 20 wickets. In this regard, Jasprit Bumrah said:
“See, in international cricket nothing is easy. So, even if it’s a very, very good wicket you have to bowl in the right areas and that is the message that we always wanted to convey whenever we bowl. So we had decided that even if the wicket was on the flatter side, our job is to create pressure and maintain the discipline we have been talking about for a long time… From the first session [itself], we wanted to start well and increase the pressure… So, very happy with the effort we put today.”
Jasprit Bumrah also talked about his team’s remarkable spirit. He said:
“We as a team always look to be in the present. Obviously, sometimes things don’t go your way, sometimes they will… Five days is a lot of cricket and the game can change anytime, we always want to think like that. We have a lot of belief in our unit that, as and when we get an opportunity, we can push and get things in our favor. That is the message that goes inside the team as well. Even if we are running behind in the game, we want to put pressure, try to fight and try to find a way to make a comeback.”
Jasprit Bumrah was well supported by his two wingmen, Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur, who contributed with spells of 3-60 and 2-22 respectively. Equally important was Ravindra Jadeja, who kept things tight from one end and picked up two wickets.
The visitors, having taken an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series, will aim to deal the knockout blow in the final Test, which starts on September 10.