Jasprit Bumrah credited Indian captain Virat Kohli for his hat-trick in the second Test against West Indies on Saturday.
The 25-year-old became just the third Indian to claim a Test hat-trick as he dismissed Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks and Roston Chase off successive deliveries. He was helped in the process by Kohli as the skipper decided to take DRS for the third wicket even as the bowler himself wasn’t sure of the decision.
“I owe my hat-trick to you,” Bumrah told Kohli in a video posted on bccitv.
Known as much for his infectious energy as for his incredible batting, Kohli was caught on the stump mic saying, “What a bowler, man! What a bowler”, after Bumrah removed one the West Indies batsmen.
Part of the credit for Bumrah’s hat-trick go to skipper Kohli, who insisted on a review after Roston Chase, his third victim, was initially given not out by the on-field umpire Paul Reiffel. The review was correct as Bumrah became only the third Indian to claim a hat-trick in Test cricket.
“Actually I didn’t know, I was not very sure of the appeal, I thought it was bat so I didn’t appeal so much, but it was a good review in the end. So, I think, I owe that hat-trick to the captain,” Bumrah said as Kohli held the mic during an interaction.
It is not easy to sweep Kohli off his feet, but Bumrah has done that a few times in recent times, and the second day of the second Test against the West Indies was one of those moments.
In a lethal opening spell, Bumrah (6/16) rattled the West Indies by picking up the first five wickets, three of which came in successive balls in the ninth over.
“Sometimes when there is so much of help in the wicket, we saw in the previous inning as well there was a lot of bounce they were getting a lot of bounce, they were getting late movement as well.
“So, sometimes, when there is so much of help you can get greedy, you can go for wickets, you can try to be over aggressive, that time you have to keep things simple, just try and bowl good balls and create pressure. That was the thing that was going on in my head,” Bumrah said.
The leader of the team asked the leader of the pace pack about understanding among the fast bowlers.
“Understanding is very good with other pacers. There is a lot of communication that goes on and off the field as well. When I am getting wickets, somebody else’ job at that time is to create pressure, when somebody else is getting wickets my job is to create pressure.
“So a lot of communication goes – when there is no help what we can do – Ishant has played more than 90 Test matches, Shami has played a lot of Tests. So lot of ideas come in and then we try to help each other if things are not going well, push each other. So that’s a good relation going on and hopefully we will continue,” Bumrah said.
Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh also believes Bumrah will forever remain indebted to Kohli’s “gut feeling”, which got him the hat-trick, just like he is grateful to Sadagopan Ramesh for an incredible catch at forward short-leg 18 summers ago.
Harbhajan, India’s first-ever hat-trick man in Test cricket, lauded Bumrah, who became only the third (Irfan Pathan was second) from the country to achieve the milestone in the longest format.
In 2001, Harbhajan’s hat-trick against the mighty Australians (Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne) set the tone for the series. On Saturday, Bumrah got Darren Bravo, Samarah Brooks and Roston Chase.
“This hat-trick belongs to Virat as much as it belongs to Bumrah. The bowler wasn’t convinced but the skipper had a gut feeling. What if Virat wouldn’t have gone for that DRS? It was a brilliant call by the skipper which complemented his magnificent effort,” Harbhajan told PTI on Sunday.
The Turbanator still feels that without Ramesh’s flash of brilliance, he wouldn’t have been able to create history.
“I remember that I discussed with Dada (Sourav Ganguly) and we decided to keep it on stumps and try for a third leg before but Warne flicked it. Now to be honest, Ramesh wasn’t the most athletic of the guys in that team. Yet at forward short-leg, he pulled off that stunner with a less than split second reaction time. Whenever I have later met Ramesh, I told him, ‘buddy my hat-trick belongs to you’,” Harbhajan fondly recollected.
“That’s why I believe that some things happen that come together and such a beautiful thing happens. It was Ramesh’s brilliance then and it’s Virat’s conviction now,” said the owner of 711 international wickets.
The most endearing thing, according to Harbhajan, was Rahul Dravid’s celebration.
“I have never seen Rahul so excited, jumping with joy. Perhaps, he also didn’t believe Ramesh can pull off such a catch,” he said.
For Harbhajan, Bumrah is the biggest blessing that Indian cricket could have had.
“Indian cricket is blessed to have a match winner like Bumrah. This hat-trick will only help his legend grow but even without that he is an incredible performer. I mean 5 wickets in 7 overs in last game and 6 wickets in 9 overs in this game. You can’t ask for more. He is a rare diamond,” said Harbhajan.
What makes it more creditable is that the hat-trick has come in a Test match. “A hat-trick is always a praiseworthy feat but if it happens in Test cricket, it’s all the more creditable,” he felt.
“In ODIs, you are always in with a chance in the death overs – say from 47th to 50th when batsmen are attacking. If they attack you will always fancy your chances of a bowled or a catch in the deep,” he explained.
“But in Test matches, it is a different ball game. The batsmen are not always attacking. The defence will be tighter and their skill comes into play. Look at Bumrah’s deliveries. The length and how it was tailing in. That’s pure skills,” he said.
Harbhajan is not liking people raising questions about the quality of West Indies batting.
“Obviously Sir Viv (Vivian Richards) and (Brian) Lara won’t be playing on forever. They are playing their best Test team, the same outfit that beat England this year. And for Bumrah, he is the best fast bowler in world cricket at the moment,” Harbhajan concluded.
[Inputs from PTI]