London, June 10: A. They have mutually complimenting talents. B. They have clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. C. They can pursue a goal together. Don't take it as an excerpt from a yawn-inducing corporate complimentary mail, but about two purveyors of pace bowling that can take your breath away.
In Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India have two bowlers who have found a way to sync their different operating ideologies to give the opponents a torrid time. But mind this, it is not precisely a 50:50 partnership and often Bumrah walks away with admiration and adulation, while Bhuvneshwar contended with nods of approval and that rare 'oh' when he swings it prodigiously.
The awe around Bumrah can be understood. Since his Test debut in 2018, the Ahmedabad man has progressed quite quickly to become the go-to man of Virat Kohli. Irrespective of the colour of the ball and passage of play, Bumrah is effective. He does not drop intensity even for a single delivery.
It may not be out of place to think that Bumrah is India's first pace bowler who sustained hostility and pace for a long duration. And watching him bowl itself is a puzzlingly joyous experience. He does not have a classic run up in the mould of Michael Holding or Waqar Younis but a few little awkward stutter-steps before gaining some speed to release the ball in such high speeds and with unrelenting accuracy. It just defies the laws of physics!
The dismissal of Hashim Amla at Southampton offered a glimpse to why it is tough to tackle Bumrah. Amla, a top batsman even in the twilight of his career, was hustled to play a delivery that touched 143 kmph and the edge went to Rohit Sharma at slip.
Kohli did not hide his admiration. "I haven't seen Hashim get out like that in one-dayers. He might play shots and get out, but to get guys out like that, rushing them a bit, I think it's a great thing and a testimony to his hard work,"said Kohli.
Bumrah hits the deck hard and get the ball takes off from even from flat pitches but Bhuvneshwar's deliveries rather glides to the batsmen and leave them in tangles with subtle variations.
Australian batsman Marcus Stoinis experienced it at the Oval on Sunday (June 9). Stoinis was stranded inside the crease as Bhuvneshwar made the ball jag back that much to beat his bat to rattle the timber. The conditions or the pitch were not really conducive to swing the ball but Bhuvneshwar still managed to find that extra zing. It was pure skill than reliance on external factors.
Bumrah and Bhuvi merged their ways to take six wickets among them to stifle the Australian chase and they kept the explosive duo of David Warner and Aaron Finch silent throughout the Power Plays. Such a performance against the defending champions on a surface that gave 352 runs to India would force others to spend a few more hours in the board room.
Bowling coach B Arun was chuffed. "It's a dream to have a bowler like him . He's one of the best in the world both at the beginning of an innings at the death. "My job is just to remind him and Bhuvi about their plans and what they've done well in the past."
"It was always our plan to open the bowling with Bumrah and Bhuvi because he moves the ball around in English conditions and Bumrah bowls well at the death," said Arun.
There won't be any snarling or stares from either of them at batsmen. Bumrah may even slip in a smile. But even without the theatrics, the B-Band offers a compelling sight. Don't miss it.