The conviction in Virat Kohli‘s cry, “Pehle pad pe lagaa hain [it’s struck the pad first]” from third slip when there was only a muffled appeal from the bowler Jasprit Bumrah himself stood vindicated as the Indian captain’s review fetched Bumrah Roston Chase’s wicket, and a maiden Test hat-trick on Saturday. Bumrah, having become only the third Indian to the distinction, attributed the feat squarely to Kohli.
“Actually I didn’t know. I was not very sure of the appeal,” Bumrah told Kohli in an interview to bcci.tv. “I thought it was bat [first], so I didn’t appeal so much. But it was a good review in the end (laughs), and I think I owe the hat-trick to the captain.”
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A visibly ebullient Kohli elaborated on the sequence of events that led to the review. “Yeah, we had a discussion,” Kohli said. “I asked him what he [Bumrah] thinks; whether he thought the guy has hit it. So the only question was is the ball in line, and he said, ‘Everything is in front of the wickets; it’s just that I think it’s bat.’ So we all discussed; Jinx [Ajinkya Rahane] both thought he [Chase] is late on the ball, so we went for the review and it happened to be on the right side.”
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Bumrah’s sensational 6 for 16, including the wickets of Darren Bravo and Shamarh Brooks in that hat-trick, reduced West Indies to 87 for 7 at stumps on the second day, and Kohli underlined how “amazing [it had been] to watch” his fast bowlers when they are on song. The captain said India’s pace battery – mostly comprising Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Bumrah – had been “outstanding” for the team over the last two years.
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Even in the last Test, Bumrah had taken a blink-and-you-miss-it five-for. Ishant finished with eight wickets in that match and Shami too chipped in with a couple to help India to victory by 318 runs.
“There’s a lot of communication that goes on the field as well,” Bumrah said when asked to explain the fast bowlers’ success. “When I’m getting wickets, it’s somebody else’s job to create pressure, and when somebody else is getting wickets, [it’s] my job is to create pressure. There’s a lot of communication [even] when there is no help [from the surface about] what we can do.
“Ishant, as you have seen, has played more 90 Test matches, Shami has played a lot of Test matches. So a lot of communication goes [on], ideas come in, we try to help each other out whenever things are not going well, we try to push each other. So there’s a good relation going on and, hopefully, from here we will continue.”
As for his own success, whether on pace-friendly tracks – such as the Sabina Park’s – or those devoid of much assistance, Bumrah put it down to an uncomplicated approach.
“Sometimes, when there is so much of help in the wicket… We saw in the previous innings as well [that] there was a lot of bounce [for the West Indians] and they were getting a lot of late movement as well,” Bumrah said. “So sometimes, when there is so much of help, you can get greedy for wickets and try to be over-aggressive, that time you have to keep things simple. Just try and bowl good balls, create pressure for the guy at the other end to get wickets. That was the thing that was going on in my head [today].