- 'With only one ball you cannot be successful. I try to mix my pace and try to use yorkers.'
Playing tennis-ball cricket in his formative years has helped him bowl his yorkers with good control, revealed Mumbai Indians pacer Jasprit Bumrah.
"With only one ball you cannot be successful. I try to mix my pace and try to use yorkers. I used to play tennis ball cricket quite a lot before playing serious cricket. Over there you bowl yorkers. That could be the reason I bowl yorkers. But it's difficult to bowl and I have to practice continuously," said Bumrah in Mumbai on Wednesday, on the eve of the Indian Premier League match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede stadium.
With his slightly unorthodox bowling action just before delivering the ball, Bumrah has picked up eight wickets from 11 games this season and played a good supporting role to top wicket-taker Mitchell McClenaghan of New Zealand.
The 22-year-old feels Mumbai Indians' bowling attack has done well despite the absence of their pace spearhead Lasith Malinga, who is out of the tournament with a leg injury.
"He is a world class bowler. We will miss him. But as a bowling group, we have been doing well. Mitchell McClenaghan has been doing very well, Tim Southee too," he pointed out.
Bumrah, who grabbed the fans' attention with his good show during India's tour of Australia in the ODIs and T20s earlier this year, said that the time he spent in the Indian dressing room has done him a world of good.
"From the Australia tour I learned a lot, and from Sri Lanka (tour) and Asia Cup (in Bangladesh) too. I have learnt a lot from the Indian team. Many senior players were there with me. I look to learn from everyone. In T20 format I have played many international games and am trying to carry it into IPL."
Bumrah said though there is a huge difference in the standard of cricket at the domestic first class and international level, he strove to maintain the same mind-set as it helps him to handle the pressure of playing for India.
"The level of cricket is different from Gujarat and first class to IPL and international cricket. I try to maintain the same mindset. That way there's less pressure on me and I can play freely," said Bumrah.
He also said MI's bowling coach and former New Zealand pace bowler Shane Bond has been a great help to him.
"I have learnt a lot from Shane Bond. We make plans. He is a very experienced bowler and helps me in deciding what to do and not to do in certain situations. He's been a helpful hand for me and other bowlers, spinners included, in the team.
"My all-time favourite bowlers are Mitchell Johnson, Wasim Akram and Brett Lee. I used to watch their videos and learn from them. I have learnt a lot from Johnson, and Malinga too. I try to learn from any senior bowlers who have played international cricket," the Ahmedabad-born player said.
Meanwhile, Malinga's replacement Jerome Taylor of the West Indies, joined the squad and practiced with the team in Mumbai on Wednesday.