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IPL 2024: 'He is surely in a different league right now', Zaheer hails Bumrah

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Mumbai, April 12 (IANS) Former India left-arm fast-bowler Zaheer Khan lauded Jasprit Bumrah for his superb spell of 5-21 being one of the key pillars in Mumbai Indians’ seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bengaluru, saying the ace pacer is in a different league right now.

It was a match at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday evening, when all bowlers were taken to the cleaners consistently on a sticky pitch, barring Bumrah, who is now the leading wicket-taker in IPL 2024.

"He’s been superb. He’s in great rhythm. You see the execution of the yorkers, the slower ones, the bouncers. It shows how much time and energy he puts in, in terms of understanding what’s the situation of the game, what conditions he is playing in, which batters he will bowl against and what are the best options. He is also realistic about how others are trying to analyse him. He surely is in a different league right now," said Zaheer to JioCinema, the official streaming partner of IPL 2024.

Asked on how his association with MI has impacted his career, Bumrah said, "It’s been very good. I came here as a 19-year-old and I didn’t even expect to play Ranji Trophy. Yes, I was in the set-up, but then John Wright saw me, and I came here. And over the years, I’ve grown here and won five titles with the team, So, it’s been a great journey so far.

"It has impacted me a lot because in early years, I had not seen these players before, and now I was playing with Sachin Tendulkar. My first captain in the IPL was Ricky Ponting, Mitchell Johnson was here, and 33 players were there.

"I was just looking and thinking, am I in the wrong place? Everything just felt weird. So, from there to now being 30, being a father, this team has seen my whole journey and I have grown as an individual. I didn’t even think I’d be here in the same team for 11 years, but I’m very happy and grateful that I’m still here."

Quizzed on if he has ever bowled a perfect delivery in IPL since his debut in 2013, Bumrah felt there is no such thing as a perfect ball in the sport. "There is no perfect delivery in cricket. Every ball is a wicket-taking delivery, according to me, because in T20 cricket, anything can happen. But for me, my first wicket is very, very special, because I remember, I had not played a lot of cricket at night", he said.

"Because in domestic cricket, you played all day games, and I didn't understand the concept of the ground being wet and the dew being there. So, I bowled my first over and the first three balls went for three boundaries and on the fourth, I got the wicket of Virat Kohli. At that time, I was slipping, so I was not able to land the ball where I wanted to.

"Sachin sir was there at mid-off, so I told him, ‘I’m slipping, I’m not used to bowling like this and he told me not to worry and one good delivery and your match will be different. That’s exactly what happened, and I took three wickets after that. That assurance was needed at that time," added Bumrah,



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