27 July, 2021

Fast And Furious: The Thing About Virat Kohli’s Bouncers

India’s pace pack—the most lethal in the world—has the ability to demolish the best batting fastnesses.

Shami: Smooth, improved, a workhorse who delivers (left); Bumrah: unique, protean and very, very fast
Photograph by Getty Images
Fast And Furious: The Thing About Virat Kohli’s Bouncers

It takes a Test series victory against Australia, in Australia, for it to be oss­ified into ready legend, with a shimmer of unbelievability hanging like mist over the feat still. The mighty effort of the Indian fast bowlers, running Aussie batsmen ragged, has left an indelible imprint in the mind’s eye, and so has Cheteshwar Puj­ara’s indomitability and Rishabh Pant’s untrammelled audacity. The 2-1 victory was the sweeter for its being the first ever registered on Aussie soil, in the 12th attempt over 71 years, since that first series was played in 1947-48 against Brad­man’s ‘invincibles’. Those three horsemen that pulled India’s victory chariot, the untiring quicks Jasprit Bumrah, Moh­ammed Shami and Ishant Sharma, planned, then executed, the opponents’ downfall in various corners of foreign fields. Their skipper, Virat Kohli, would only need to give rough directions.

Dry-as-dust cricket statistics are inimical to a real, freshly-cut-grass feel of the game, but do provide frames for us to focus on. Like this...

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