Jasprit Bumrah had bowled the ultimate 19th over in India’s defence of 126 against Australia in the Vizag Twenty20 International on Sunday. The right-arm pacer conceded just two runs and picked up two wickets as he finished with brilliant figures of 3/16. Umesh Yadav had the task of defending 14 runs in the final over but Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins held their nerve to get Australia over the line and win the match off the last ball by three wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the series. Following the loss, Umesh faced massive criticism and Bumrah defended the Vidarbha pacer, stating that death bowling is a difficult job.
“This happens, death bowling is always difficult in any situation. It always goes both ways and it's sometimes 50-50. You try your best, and you're clear in your execution. Some days it works, some days it doesn't. Nothing to be worried. We wanted to close the game in our favour but it's okay,” Bumrah said at the post-match news conference.
Umesh’s poor performance was in stark contrast to Bumrah’s brilliance, who took three wickets and gave away 16 runs in four overs. Remarkably, in the spell, there were 18 dot balls. In the 19th over, he got the wickets of Peter Handscomb and Nathan Coulter-Nile and it enhanced his reputation as one of the best death bowlers in the world currently. “I was just focusing on what my strengths are what the wicket was because the wicket was a little difficult to bat on. It's not easy to score heavily on this wicket,” Bumrah stated.
KL Rahul scored a fifty but Nathan Coulter-Nile took three wickets and India managed only 46 runs in the last 10 overs. Bumrah admitted that the team was 15-20 runs short and Australia had the advantage of winning the toss and realising what needed to be done on the sluggish Vizag wicket.
“On this wicket, around 140-145 would have been a very good score. There was low bounce and it was difficult to hit big shots. It's always difficult to chase on these kind of wickets. We were short by 15-20 runs, but we had a fighting total. Everybody could have taken a little more responsibility. We lost two-three wickets more than we wanted to. It's a little different once you know your target. It was a small target, so once you hit one boundary then you don't need to take a lot of risks. At first, we are still figuring out what is the safe total. They were rotating the strikes after hitting a boundary,” Bumrah said.
India would be hoping to avoid their first Twenty20 International series loss at home since 2015 as they look to bounce back in the second game in Bengaluru on Wednesday.