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Bumrah says he is 'mentally' ready for Test cricket

In his short but impactful career, pacer Jasprit Bumrah has earned the tag of a match-winner for India in limited-overs cricket. He did live up to his billing in the recently concluded limited-overs series against England by bowling superbly at the death overs.
On the flip side, the 23-year-old Gujarat pacer has been tagged by most as a shorter-format specialist and that there are doubts over whether he could last the rigours of Test cricket.
However, Bumrah believes he is "mentally" ready for Test cricket and that "it doesn't matter" what people think about him (as limited-overs specialist).
You have done well in the shorter formats of the game. How keen are you to play in the longer format?
It is always a dream to play Test cricket but I don't focus on selections. I try to do what is there in my hand. I try to do well wherever I play. So my focus is on that. I have done well in Ranji and whenever I get a chance, I will try to do well. I'm mentally prepared I have bowled long spells and played India A cricket in Australia.


Have the selectors informed where you stand?
You never know when your chance will come. You have to be mentally prepared and be in best shape possible. So supposedly you get a chance you have to be in the best shape possible and be mentally and physically ready. I always prepare like that that you can be called up anytime.

Do you fear you could be typecast as ODI/T20 bowler?
It doesn't matter to me what people think. I don't think like that. My preparation is different for every format. Even in Ranji Trophy I focus on consistent line, lengths, bowling longer spells use the shorter ball trying to swing the ball. In shorter format, you have to adapt to that using the slower balls and yorkers. People have only seen me bowling with the white ball for India or in IPL. But it doesn't matter what people think. I know what I am capable of. If I get a chance in Tests, I have the confidence to show what I am capable of.

How much effort has gone to in perfecting the yorker? Did you practice with a tennis ball?
I used to play a lot of tennis ball cricket so that could be a reason but it requires consistent practice. Day in and day out you have to practice the yorker because it is a difficult ball to bowl and in pressure situations, it is even more difficult. I try to have a proper death bowling session wherever I practice in the nets. So that gives me a proper plan and proper preparation before any match.

Do you practice keeping a shoe in place instead of a batsman?
Yes sometimes I do that..but it is better to do with a batsman because a shoe doesn't move. So with a batsman you can adjust and adapt and this is the way I practice.

Do you feel any difference in the way Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni has used you in the death overs?
I don't feel any kind of difference. Earlier he was the vice-captain when Mahi was captain. So both of them come to you and give their own suggestions. They suggest the kind of field I can use. Even in the recent series both of them came in and gave suggestions. It is just Virat goes out for the toss. For me, it was like the old days.

How do you visualise when you are bowling the last over? Do you set the field or allow the captain to do it?
You have to keep everything in mind be it the wicket, the ground size, the dew factor and the batsman. I prefer to have my own field. I tell the captain this is the field I want and this is the ball I am going to bowl 'so what do you think if you have any suggestion.' In that, I judge everything..say if the wicket is dry or if the ball is wet, what ball is more effective.

Fast bowlers hunt in pairs. So with which bowler you are comfortable with at the other end?
I am comfortable with anyone. I have bowled a lot with Nehra in T20. He has lot of experience to share. That always helps he gives you options saying 'you can do this or that'.

What is the impact of two new balls for a bowler like you?
It is always helpful when the ball reverses but with the new rules, the ball doesn't get old enough. So it is difficult to bowl yorkers because the margin of error is very little. If the ball is reversing, it dips and goes late as well. But you have to adapt and not give excuses and practice accordingly. I usually talk to Lasith Malinga on death bowling issues but I have not had any chats recently.

How good are you at reverse swing?
It is very important but to make the ball to reverse the whole team has to maintain the ball. Every member is important when taking care of the ball. The conditions also make an impact. If it is a dry wicket obviously, it starts to reverse early.
There is no specific bowling coach for pacers. How do you see without a bowling coach?
Anil sir is there. He has played a lot of cricket. I have been there with him in Mumbai Indians as well. So he knows what kind of deliveries I bowl and the variations I have. So he tells me, I can try this or that.

Do you have two options in your mind when you run in to bowl?
No, I always have one ball in mind. It's difficult to have two deliveries at the back of your mind. But I try to have one, if the batsman moves at the last moment, you try to change the line. It's still difficult. At the end, you can just change the line, if he is stepping out or bowl wider, that I try to do...
Is there anything specific you are working on fitness?
I try to keep a leaner body but a stronger one. It helps in running fast, be fit and bowl longer spells. If you become bulky, I don't think you will be able to longish spells.
You said you speak to Malinga once in a while. This time both Mitchell Johnson and Malinga will be there with Mumbai in IPL....
I have played with Johnson in 2013. Malinga too was there. I have good memories with them. This year, I will ask him what are his suggestions for me, the matches in which he saw me bowl and what he thinks about my game. It's always good to have a word with him, try to understand what he thinks and whether I should try any new stuff. That will be interesting.

How do you plan to a batsman like Kohli?
It's difficult. He is a master batsman. You have to always have a clear plan and try to stick to it even if it doesn't go your way. You try to have a basic plan. I tried to do that. You try to think like a batsman, where the batsman will hit. You fix that this is the ball you are going to bowl and believe in it.

Who is the most difficult batsman to bowl at the slog overs?
Every batsman at the death is difficult to bowl. On their day they can hit you. If it's our day, any batsman can be beaten. I don't focus on a particular player. I give all batsman equal respect and plan accordingly.

Source: Timesofindia

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