Jassi Jaisa Koi Nahin: Jasprit Bumrah settles the GOAT debate by serving T20 World Cup to Team India on a platter

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Jasprit Bumrah has settled the GOAT debate with a class act in the T20 World Cup final

The average scoring rate in the T20 World Cup final played in Barbados was 8.6 runs per over, or a strike rate of around 137. A total of 15 sixes and 26 sixes were scored off the bat in 40 overs. In such a ‘fertile’ game, Jasprit Bumrah, India’s talisman, gave away just two boundaries, managed 14 dot balls, and bowled arguably the greatest spell in a World Cup final. For any other bowler, it would have a once-in-a-lifetime performance. For Bumrah, it is almost a monthly affair. The occasions and platforms change but the remarkable consistency with which this man has done it has settled the GOAT debate.

At one point in the final, South Africa needed 30 runs off 30 balls with 6 wickets in hand. Heinrich Klaasen had just belted 24 runs off an Axar Patel over and was striking at 222. David Miller was on the other end with 14 runs in 6 balls. Even the most sincere Indian fans felt it was over. Enter Bumrah! In the 16th over, India’s strike bowler gave away just four runs. Then, after Hardik Pandya removed Klaasen from the other end, he returned to deliver an even better 18th over, one that had just 2 runs and a wicket. Two overs, six runs, and a wicket, is a sensational spell in a Test match, let alone a T20 game.

But the remarkable part about this performance is that it almost had a sense of inevitability of it. Nine times out of ten, you would expect Bumrah to pull a rabbit out of his hat when the hat had been riddled with machine gun bullet holes.

For years, India has had match-winners with the bat. From Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni to Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, fans have held a belief that if any one of them was on the crease in a white ball game, India still stood a chance. But never has a bowler evoked that same belief, not with this consistency. Zaheer Khan had his moments as did the great Kapil Dev. But they both never felt invulnerable. Bumrah carries an aura around him that only Australians and West Indian pacers before him have.

In 2023, Andy Roberts – one of the four horsemen of apocalypse from the all-conquering West Indies side – remarked that Bumrah would walk into THAT West Indies side. The thought that an Indian could replace Roberts, Holding, Garner, or Marshall felt blasphemous. But Bumrah has proved that it is not as unbelievable time and again. Pat Cummins is fabulous, Trent Boult is skillful, and Shaheen Afridi is magical. Bumrah is all of these things, and he is also scary. Not because of his pace or variations but because of the sheer consistency with which he turns the tide for Team India.

Given his late arrival in the team and injury-prone frame, the 31-year-old will never take as many wickets as Kapil Dev or Zaheer Khan, or even Ajit Agarkar for that matter. But numbers, when taken out of context, never paint the full picture. After World War I, many ‘younger’ cricket experts always marveled at why Australia’s Victor Trumper was called the greatest ever when he had a Test batting average of 39. After all, Bradman was scoring at a hundred then. But Neville Cardus summed it up when he wrote, “You no more get an idea of the quality of Trumper’s batsmanship by adding up his runs than you will of Shelley’s poetry by adding up the number of lines he wrote.” The same applies to Bumrah. His numbers, however extraordinary they are, never tell the full story of just how valuable he has been to Team India.

Frame him, preserve him, and hang him in the Louvre, for there will never again be another Jasprit Bumrah. There may be someone different, good in an altogether unique way, and even (gasp) better even. But he won’t be Bumrah for Jassi jaisa koi nahin!

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