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Bumrah and The Red Galaxy Ranger

To anyone born in the 90s or earlier, Power Rangers was such a fun show. The thriller of multi-coloured heroes kicking and punching a rubber-suited monster is somewhat of an underrated joy that a lot of now-adult folks might relate to and feel a little, if not very nostalgic about. 

It was never really about the story, wasn’t it? Just shoot, kick and punch the alien, then bask in the joy of the alien exploding at the end. But there was a little story, or rather a development, that sounded a little more relatable. In the 1999 season, a young adult named Leo Corbett who is more into slacking and persistently living in the shadow of his older and more responsible brother Mike is shot into a world of chaos up a space station after ending up with the powers that were originally meant for Mike and fell into Leo’s lap after Mike seemingly fell to his demise in a crevice. Leo, suddenly finding a new lease of life, evolves into a powerful yet responsible leader who literally sacrifices himself for the well-being of the natives of the space station.

Jasprit Jasbir Singh Bumrah is somewhat of a similar story minus the self-sacrifice of course but yeah. Born on 6th Dec 1993, Jasprit lost his dad when he was just 5 years old and was raised by his mother, who was a school teacher. In 2013, when the Mumbai Indians talent scouts came calling, they were there for Axar Patel, a now possibly forgotten member of the title-winning Mumbai Indians squad from IPL 2013 but it was Axar who would tell the scouts how he knows someone that they might want to check out. Long story short, Mumbai would end up buying both Bumrah and Axar in the 2013 IPL Auction.

Ironically Axar got no games in the 2013 IPL season, later released by Mumbai to end up at Punjab and Bumrah who wasn’t originally not meant to be there, instead became a staple of the Mumbai Indians, thanks to his unique action and lower release point. Only 3 years later, Bumrah would make his white ball debut in Australia in January 2016, followed by his test debut in South Africa in January 2018.

Just like our protagonist Leo Corbett, Bumrah was often slated not to be where he got to. May it be his unorthodox bowling action that made him prone to back injuries or at times led to straight-up questioning of his bowling action or the great Michael Holding rejecting him as a red ball prospect in 2017 and terming him “a T20 bowler”. That and the presence of several far more experienced bowlers in the squad like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav & Ishant Sharma.

But Bumrah as he was meant to, shone through may it be his game-defining 5fer at Nottingham against England where he would get rid of the centurion Jos Buttler and then Jonny Bairstow in consecutive deliveries or his spell of 6/27 at Melbourne, where he would set the MCG alight on a day 3 slow and low pitch including his iconic slower ball to dismiss Shaun Marsh on the last ball before lunch.

Bumrah became the proverbial “responsible adult” of the team, throwing himself into tough situations and often creating something out of absolutely nothing, an example of which would be his match-winning spell on day 5 after lunch at the Oval in 2021. He would bowl 6 overs of reverse swinging 90 mph heat on a rather sedate track and go through the defences of Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow to help reduce England from 135/2 to 150/6 in no time as India ultimately won the game by 156 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

This was only on the heels of another day 5 ordeal in London, this time at Lords where Bumrah would have an 89-run partnership for the 9th wicket with Shami to set England a target of 271 in 60 overs and then bowl an amazing slower one to dismiss a defiant Ollie Robinson with just 9 overs to go in the day to pave the way for an unlikely win in the last hour.

With his recent 9-wicket haul against England on one of the most docile pitches, it is safe to say that Bumrah has evolved from the guy who wasn’t on Mumbai or India’s radar to becoming the go-to man for both the teams, Jasprit Bumrah has one hell of a career. Whether he can get rid of the injury issues and continue to reign supreme in his 30s is a thing to look out for, but for now, it is safe to say that the Indian fans are privileged to have someone like Jasprit Bumrah on their side.


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