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Bodyline 2.0: Why Jofra Archer, Jasprit Bumrah Are 'Freaks' On The Expressway

Despite protecting almost every bone in their bodies, batsmen are finding it difficult to handle tearaways like Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah. Why are they special?

Bodyline 2.0: Why Jofra Archer, Jasprit Bumrah Are 'Freaks' On The Expressway
Photograph by Getty Images
Bodyline 2.0: Why Jofra Archer, Jasprit Bumrah Are 'Freaks' On The Expressway
outlookindia.com
2019-09-03T13:57:11+05:30

In a throwback to when fierce fast bowlers bestrode the cricketing scene, intimidating entire line-ups of cowering batsmen, cric­ket has been all fire and brimstone ever since the first ICC World Test Championship started with the Ashes. Even as England found a new talisman in Jofra Archer, it was Ben Stokes’s once-in-a-generation heroics (a calculated, yet devil-may-care, unbeaten 135) that scripted England’s series-levelling victory in the third Test at Headingley, Leeds.

Stokes’s grit with the bat and Steve Smith’s Bradmanesque consistency have enlivened the Ashes, but what’s given it a definite spring are the pacers on both sides who have spewed venom in conditions favouring seam and swing. The tall, lithe Archer, loose of limb and run-up, has everyone in awe of his skills, unexpectedly raw pace and the ability to attack the body. The ‘Bodyline’ series of 1932-33 in Australia has slipped beyond living memory, but comparisons are inevitably made. Eighty-seven summers back, Nottingham­shire’s Harold Larwood,...

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