In a match, where 668 runs were scored, mere six runs made the difference. After being on the brink of achieving a decisive win, New Zealand lost the high-voltage battle by just six runs. In a battle of nerves, the calmer side emerged victorious while New Zealand stumbled in the ultimate stages of the game. Jasprit Bumrah delivered when his team needed the most and did what he does the best – hit the blockhole consistently in the death overs.

Its not very often when a bowler overshadows Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the new ball. Bhuvneshwar is widely reckoned to swing the new ball both ways and create enough doubts for the batsmen. In a match where Bhuvneshwar leaked runs with the new leather, Bumrah stood out and exhibited some serious skills. Although Bhuvneshwar just had a bad day in office, but Bumrah did well to hold things tight from the other end.

Bumrah extracted whatever help the flat track of Kanpur had with some canny change in pace. The Green Park pitch was a batting paradise and with the ball coming on nicely, it was always going to be a tough ask for the bowlers. New Zealand openers got off to a steady start, but Bumrah drew the first blood in the form of Martin Guptill. The conditions were well suited for the maverick Kiwi opener and his early dismissal was always going to be a boon in this run chase. On a pitch, where Bhuvneshwar conceded 51 runs in his first spell of five overs, Bumrah finished with 12 runs in four along with the prized scalp of Guptill.

Colin Munro and Kane Williamson built a solid platform for the run-chase and the tone was set. New Zealand had enough depth in their batting, which meant India needed wickets on a regular basis. Ross Taylor played a match-winning innings in Mumbai and had found his feet here. Bumrah was brought back into the attack in the 37th over and got the job done in the third over of his second spell. Taylor was undone by an off-cutter that bounced more than expected and surprised the batsman.

With New Zealand fighting hard, it was evident that the match will go on till the final over and Kohli did well in bowling sux overs off Bumrah in the final 15. Bumrah is undoubtedly one of the best death bowlers in contemporary cricket. His ability to bowl toe-crushing yorkers consistently under immense pressure stands him out.

Delivering perfect yorkers on a regular basis is extremely difficult for any bowler. A slight error in length can result in a juicy half-volley or a full toss. It’s an art, a rare art that demands loads and loads of practice and talent. And delivering such deadly Yorkers under the pump demands a different set of skills altogether.

New Zealand needed 50 off the final five, out of which, three were going to be bowled by Bumrah. India have developed into a dominant bowling attack and have been impactful in the death. The evolution of Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah has made run-scoring extremely difficult for the opposition in the death.

Bumrah went for runs in his first over of the third spell, conceding 15 runs off the 46th over, but did well in bouncing back emphatically.

The onus of not letting New Zealand score the required runs were on Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah. The former wasn’t having the best of the days with the ball, but delivered an amazing 47th over. The equation came down to 30 off 18 and Bumrah got his Yorkers right giving away just 5 runs from the 48th over. Bumrah also affected the run out of Tom Latham, which turned the game on its head.

Bumrah had the option of running to the stumps, but in a rush of blood, perhaps, he decided to take a shire at the timber. On the run-out, he said, “I should have gone to the stumps and taken it down. It was good that I could hit the stumps. A similar thing happened in England as well, that’s probably why he (MS Dhoni) was laughing.”

New Zealand scored 10 runs off the penultimate over by Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah had 15 to defend in the final. At the crease were Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner, both the batsmen capable of scoring 15 off 6. Bumrah didn’t provide any margin for error and kept it extremely simple. He was calm and effective and didn’t panic in such a crunch situation. Riding on his Yorkers, Bumrah successfully defended 15 runs as India sealed the series 2-1.

“I try to keep my head calm. I think that gives the best chance to execute. Just focus on the match and focus ball-by-ball and try to execute. I try to watch the ball till the end. I lock the ball and try to execute it. It was difficult to bowl because of dew. You have to back yourselves and I was trying to do that. This is how cricket goes. Cricket is a great leveller. He (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) was contributing in the previous matches. Hopefully, in the next matches, we will be doing well. With the runs going, it was tough for him (Yuzvendra Chahal). He was brilliant and hopefully continues to do well,” said Bumrah after the completion of the match.

A few years back, India were heavily dependent on their batsmen and they were the one winning them most of the games. But now, even bowlers are winning games for India. Yuzvendra Chahal brought India back into te game by getting rid of Colin Munro and Kane Williamson with his guile. Bhuvneshwar got rid of Henry Nicholls in the death while Bumrah kept chipping wickets in every spell. He finished the game with figures of 47 for 3 in 10. Most importantly, he delivered in the death overs to snatch another mesmerising victory.


The fact that Indian bowlers did well with the presence of some dew on the ground was outstanding. Except that one expensive over, Bumrah once again showed why he is the best death bowler India boast of.

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