India’s pacer Jasprit Bumrah had made his ODI debut for the Indian cricket team under MS Dhoni’s captaincy on the 2016 Australia tour. The Men in Blue had already lost the ODI series and they needed to win the last match to avoid a 5-0 whitewash.
Bumrah was included in the playing XI for the last ODI and he showed an admirable performance and picked 2 wickets for 40 runs in ten overs. The then skipper Dhoni was impressed with the way he dealt in the death overs.
The 26-year-old was recalled the discussion with MS Dhoni after his bowling performance in the debut match. In his compliment, Dhoni said they would have won the series if he had played from the first match itself.
In an interaction with Times of India, Bumrah started the discussion on Dhoni with a question on the latter’s retirement. “Well, it was his decision, and everybody respects it,” he said.
The Gujarat pacer was happy with the encouragement and freedom he got under the leadership of Dhoni.
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“At a personal level, I made my debut under him and he gave me a lot of confidence. Not many people know that Mahi bhai had never seen me bowl, at any level. In my debut game, I was going to bowl in the death overs and I asked him ‘can I bowl yorkers?’ and he was like ‘no, don’t bowl yorkers’. He thought since it was a difficult delivery, I wouldn’t be able to pull it off.
“I told him ‘in death overs, I don’t know what else to do’. So, anyway, I went ahead and did my thing and then he came to me and was like “I didn’t know this at all. You should’ve come earlier, we would’ve won the whole series”. Here was me, making a nervous debut and the captain telling me “you could’ve won us this series”. He gave me a lot of freedom.”
Dhoni had played against Bumrah in the domestic matches. The speedster had even got his wicket in a Vijay Hazare Trophy match between Jharkhand and Gujarat. After the game, the senior India cricketer had signed the ball for Bumrah.
Currently, Bumrah is focused on the upcoming IPL season, and he wants to defend the title for Mumbai Indians with his bowling partner, Trent Boult.
“When you play for a successful franchise, expectations will always be there. We have a very good team. There’s Trent Boult that I’m looking forward to bowling with. Mumbai Indians have always looked to raise the bar.”