India Tour of England: India’s pace bowling star Jasprit Bumrah is one of the most valued assets that Team India and BCCI carefully manage. The fact that his unusual bowling action has often been cited as a reason behind his frequent absence with injuries. But former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has predicted that if he is not managed carefully and play every match, Bumrah may break down completely.
“His bowling is based on frontal action. Players with that action bowl with their backs and shoulder speed. We used to be side-on, and that is compensation. Front action has no compensation and with that action, when the back blows out, you can’t escape it irrespective of how much you try,” Shoaib Akhtar told Sports Tak.
India Tour of England: A find of Mumbai Indians, Jasprit Bumrah has already suffered a series of injuries that have curtailed his career. Against England in the crucial 5th Test at home, he was rested. In Australia, he was ruled out of Gabba Test with an injury.
Former pace legends like Richard Hadlee had also pointed out that his unorthodox bowling action is to be blamed for his injuries.
“I suspect he could be more vulnerable to injury problems than those fast bowlers with more classical and pure actions or techniques. Some of his potential injuries could be severe because of the stresses and strains he places on his body. I hope any injuries he may incur will not be potentially career-ending because he is a delight to watch, and he causes batsmen all sorts of problems with his unsuspecting pace, bounce, and ball movement in the air and off the pitch,” Richard Hadlee had said in an interview with ICC.
India Tour of England: Shoaib Akhtar has also predicted a similar future for Jasprit Bumrah, citing examples of Ian Bishop and Shane Bond. He said that despite having a classic action, the two pacers struggled with injuries and Bumrah would suffer more and suggested that he should manage his workload.
“I saw (Ian) Bishop’s back blowing out, Shane Bond’s back blowing out, and both has frontal actions. Bumrah now needs to think in this way, ‘I played a match, took an off, and go to rehab’. He needs to manage. If you play him every match, in one year, he will completely break down. Play him three matches out of five and take him out. Bumrah will have to manage this one thing if he wants to last forever,” Shoaib Akhtar said.
India Tour of England: The speedster gave his own example and how mismanaging his own workload led to several knee injuries.
“I kept telling Pakistan Cricket Board, ‘do not make me play all five matches. I am a three ODI fast bowler and my knees won’t allow it’. When I started my years in 1997, my knees couldn’t take the pressure. Whenever I played five matches, my knees would get filled with water and my movement went away. I got tired of asking them to use me in three matches out of five but unfortunately, I had to manage this myself,” Shoaib Akhtar said.