'He realized the scrambled seam wasn't working' - domestic teammate recalls genius tale on Jasprit Bumrah
Grown up playing with him for Gujarat, Priyank Panchal got reinforced the genius of Jasprit Bumrah during India's Test match trip to South Africa back in 2021-22. Ahead of the three-match Test series, Panchal, who had done well in the Ranji Trophy and India 'A', was part of the squad for the marquee challenge alongside his famous friend and country's finest-ever quick.
Panchal recalled witnessing Bumrah with his thinking cap on as he instantly realised and fine-tuned his mode of operation with the ball in hand after initially struggling with his ploy. The aspiring Indian batter said the mighty right-arm pacer admitted his "scrambled seam" deliveries weren't paying the desired results and wasted no time in going back to his stock mode.
It is one thing to identify a chink in one's armoury, completely another to immediately transform or adjust your plans and execution as a bowler. Bumrah found out that his scrambled-seam deliveries weren't giving him an edge against the Proteas batters and thus backtracked to the traditional seam-up bowling.
Panchal recalls amusing Bumrah tale from South African trip
Speaking to Sportskeeda in an interview, Panchal reiterated Jasprit Bumrah's great adaptability and tendency to learn and adapt different plans via a story from the initial bouts of a Test series which remains one of Indian cricket's most disappointing and frustrating missed opportunities.
"We were in South Africa and Jasprit we know that he bowls seam-up and creates problems for batters because of his unique action. So he was telling me that he was bowling with a scrambled seam in one of the matches as it helped other pacers in bowling cutters," Panchal said.
"However he realized that the scrambled seam wasn't working for his action and immediately went back to the basics of the upright seam in the next game. He picked up a fifer or a six-fer in the next game. So it is important to keep on learning and do your job and that's what always told me," he added.
Bumrah started off the Test series in Centurion in brilliant fashion, delivering spells of 2/16 and 3/50 in India's famous win. But the great bowler would be the first one to admit his performances dipped over the next two Tests as he ultimately finished with a below-par 12 wickets for the series despite extreme conditions, with India losing the challenge 2-1 to the most vulnerable South African team.