Watch: Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli went toe to toe in a high-stakes, high-pace battle in the IPL, with the India skipper coming out on top.
India’s most vaunted bowler and batsman have enjoyed their fair share of thrilling IPL bouts in the past, with Bumrah a key tenet in Mumbai Indians’ dominance and Kohli indicating his desire to end his career at Royal Challengers Bangalore.
This season, the script has been overturned, with RCB near the top of the table and MI struggling. At first, Bumrah looked on a mission to change that all by himself, beginning superbly with the new ball.
First he worked over Devdutt Padikkal, bowling three consecutive dots to start off, twice beating the bat, before taking the edge with the fourth. Srikar Bharat managed a single off the inside edge to fine leg, bringing about the main event: Bumrah to Kohli, no holds barred.
A true heavyweight clash, Bumrah took the opening round, a nip-backer smashing into Kohli’s thigh pad, though some sloppiness in the field allowed a couple of overthrows. But in the next over, Kohli turned the tables. While the first ball went Bumrah’s way, Kohli inside edging onto his thigh pad again, the next two, both short balls, were sent to and then over the fence, and while Kohli wasn’t fully in control of either, the message was clear: Bumrah could be attacked without fear.
That six brought up 10,000 runs for Kohli in T20 cricket, making him the first Indian batsman to the landmark. A master of limited-overs cricket had just provided another reason why he is so highly regarded.
A single steered on the off-side brought Bharat on strike, and he took his captain’s lead, striking beautifully through the off-side. Bumrah was whipped from the attack to return at the death, and Kohli went on to make a half-century. This one went to the RCB skipper.
However, while it looked for a time as if this wouldn’t be Bumrah’s night at all, he’s proven he’s too good to not have some sort of impact. While AB de Villiers took him for six and four in his penultimate over, the quick finished in style, dismissing de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell in consecutive balls, setting up a last two overs in which RCB scored just nine runs.