Bumrah made his India debut in the final ODI of a five-match series in Australia in 2015/16. India were trailing 4-0, but a young Bumrah added much-needed steel in the death overs to help India claim a consolatory win. He returned 2-40 in his 10 overs, and bowled a rare yorker as he gave away just seven runs in the 48th over.
Bumrah, now India’s go-to bowler across formats, has now revealed Dhoni had asked him not to bowl yorkers at the time. “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’,” Bumrah told Times of India. “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 [to the tour], 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.”
Interestingly, Bumrah was under the impression Dhoni had never seen him bowl before – “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.”
However, Bumrah and Dhoni did clash during the Vijay Hazare Trophy in December 2015, just a month before, when Bumrah had the veteran dismissed with a yorker in Alur, on the outskirts of Bengaluru.