India’s Jasprit Bumrah is one of the best bowlers in the world – but his batting is not usually so hot.
The seamer changed all that on Friday, though, as he scored the first fifty of his career while playing for his country in a pink-ball warm-up game against Australia A in Sydney.
Bumrah, who headed into the match with a first-class batting average of 7.60 and a highest score of 16 not out, struck an unbeaten 55 from 57 deliveries, including two sixes and six fours.
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The 27-year-old’s knock was just what India needed, with the tourists having tumbled to 123-9 after losing eight wickets for 51 runs and seven for 21 having initially raced to 72-1 in under nine overs.
Bumrah’s 71-run last-wicket stand with Mohammed Siraj (22) lifted India up to 194 all out, with the former pulling Will Sutherland for six to complete his maiden fifty from 54 balls.
Once Siraj was out an over later, it was back to the day job for Bumrah and he struck with his second delivery as Australia A’s Joe Burns – who is expected to open for the full Australia side in the first Test against India in Adelaide from December 17 – snicked behind to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.
India had lost an early wicket in their innings, too, with Mayank Agarwal caught by Burns off Sean Abbott for two – only for Prithvi Shaw (40 off 29) and Shubman Gill (43 off 58) to score briskly.
Shaw was castled by Sutherland in the ninth over while Gill then fell in the 23rd as India’s innings completely unravelled – Ajinkya Rahane, standing in as skipper for Virat Kohli, making only four.
But then up stepped Bumrah in a way no one expected as he defied his previous lowly numbers with the bat, which include a Test batting average of 2.90.
One of Bumrah’s drives burst through bowler Cameron Green’s hands and onto the head of the Australian, who has been hotly tipped to make his Test debut next week.
The all-rounder dropped to the floor after the blow but returned to the changing rooms unaided after undergoing a concussion check – an update on his condition is expected on Friday evening.
Green’s situation is another injury concern for Australia with the first Test looming.
David Warner will miss the game with a groin injury, while the man expected to replace him at the top of the order, Will Pucovski, is out of this warm-up game in Sydney with mild concussion symptoms after being hit on the head by in the previous practice fixture earlier this week.
Pucovski has suffered a number of concussions in his young career to date.
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