After blowing away the West Indies in the first Test in Antigua last week with a return of 5 for 7 in the second innings, Bumrah went a step further in Jamaica when he became only the third Indian bowler to take a Test hat-trick. If it were predominantly outswingers (to the righthand batsmen) that got him his wickets last week, it was his inswingers that caused havoc on Saturday. Having dismissed both Joel Campbell and Darren Bravo with sharp inswingers last week, he took the ball away from them on Saturday and successfully found the edge of the West Indian left-handers. He decided to operate with the inswinger against the right handed duo of Shamarh Brooks and Roston Chase, trapping them plumb in front off successive deliveries. And just to show that he can unleash the outswinger whenever he so wishes, Bumrah had Kraigg Brathwaite caught behind for his fifth wicket.
Talking about his game plan after the second day’s play on a Sabina Park surface with a lot of assistance for the pacers, it was revealing how simple Bumrah’s approach to bowling is. “Sometimes when there is so much of help in the wicket, you can get greedy and look for wickets. You can try to be over aggressive. But at that time, you have to just try and bowl good balls and create pressure. That was the thing that was going on in my head,” Bumrah revealed.
“For any bowler to swing the ball both ways, is the most difficult thing to do because everyone has an action that gives them one swing. To be able to swing the ball both ways, you need to have a really good sense of your action and great control over it. Bumrah has that right now. That is why he is consistently swinging the ball both ways,” Irfan, the second Indian to take a Test hat-trick after Harbhajan Singh in 2001, said.