Jasprit Bumrah's stellar form echoes warning shots for T20 World Cup rivals

India’s ace pace sensation has been showcasing outstanding performances with notable consistency so far in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League. 

With the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 in the West Indies and USA fast approaching, the ongoing IPL is going to play a vital role in helping teams determine their squads for the marquee event, which begins immediately after the conclusion of the T20 league on 1 June.

For India, Jasprit Bumrah is a certainty in their 15-member T20 World Cup squad, with a high likelihood of him featuring in the playing XI for all of India's games. Considering the form he's in, the pacer is poised to become one of India's key players at the tournament after missing out on the 2022 edition due to injury.

Every Jasprit Bumrah wicket | CWC23

Jasprit Bumrah shined for India in the World Cup.

In his seven IPL matches so far, Bumrah has accounted for 13 wickets at a miserly economy of 5.96. He even holds the record for best innings figures in the tournament so far when he returned 5/21 against the Royal Challengers Bengaluru last week.

Following Thursday’s (18 April) thrilling clash against Punjab Kings, the Mumbai Indians bowler became the holder of the Purple Cap – awarded to the leading wicket-taker of the tournament. He returned 3/21 including a double-wicket over inside the Powerplay.

Bumrah has been used as one of his team's vital cogs for bowling in the death overs, however, the bowler also expressed his desire to make an impact early on in the innings.

"Of course, you want to make an impact early on when the ball does something," he said after Mumbai won a thriller against Punjab in the last over by nine runs.

"Because in this format, probably the ball does swing for the first two overs. And when I want to bowl more, I do play Test cricket. That is where all my desires for bowling more gets over. In this format, when the ball swings for the first two overs, you do want to make an impact and when the opportunity comes, I'm happy to contribute," he added.

In an IPL season marked by the record for the highest team total being broken thrice this year, also featuring numerous high-scoring games, Bumrah boasts the best economy rate in the tournament so far (minimum overs bowled: 3).

The pacer pointed out the rules which favour the batters, making T20 a challenging format for the bowlers and explained how he prepares to showcase his best in the shortest format.

Bumrah's World Cup best lifts India in Delhi | CWC23

Bowling highlights as India pacer Jasprit Bumrah's 4/39 ensured the Afghanistan innings was kept in check at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.

"Obviously, this format is a little difficult for the bowlers because the batsmanship is going up," he said. "With the time restrictions [over-rate penalties] as well and the Impact Player rule, that does not help the bowler too much because the batting line-up becomes deeper and deeper and the bowler becomes half the bowler when you get an extra option.

"But I feel like all of those things are not in your control. What you can do is try to prepare to the best of your ability and back yourself in any situation because all of that will then put you in a good space of mind and you can go out there and execute with a smile on your face."

With top pacers from other teams like New Zealand's Trent Boult (current economy rate: 7.37), South Africa's Kagiso Rabada (8.32), Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman (9.15), Australia's Mitchell Starc (10.54) recording economy rates over 7, Bumrah has remained impeccable in keeping the batters in check.

The ICC Men's T20 World Cup begins on 1 June with a double-header day in Dallas and Guyana. India will kick off their campaign against Ireland in New York on 5 June.

NewsMT20 Cricket World CupICC Men's T20 World Cup, 2024