Jasprit Bumrah proved yet again why he is arguably India's most valuable player in every single format. The 29-year-old seamer from Ahmedabad served up a fantastic display of fast bowling against Afghanistan during their ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 encounter at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday. Bumrah's dazzling figures of 4/39 in 10 overs were his best-ever in the 50-over World Cup, eclipsing his previous best figures of 4/55 against Bangladesh at Edgbaston Stadium during their 2019 Cricket World Cup clash. (Live Blog | Live Scorecard | Full Coverage)
Bumrah's record-breaking performance on Wednesday was instrumental in restricting Afghanistan to 272 in the first innings. The right-arm fast bowler set the tone right at the start with a peach of a delivery to dismiss Afghan opener Ibrahim Zadran.
The ball pitched on a length around off stump and straightened ever so slightly to catch Zadran's outside edge and carry straight to wicketkeeper KL Rahul. Zadran didn't try to do anything rash. it was not a loose shot by any means, and the bat was also close to the body.
But Bumrah's skills proved to be too good and his celebrations too pointed to the planning he put in for the dismissal. Bumrah pointed to his temple, as if showing off his brains, or the amount of thought that went into orchestrating that dismissal.
He followed that up with the scalp of the seniormost Afghan batter Mohammad Nabi, with a straight, seam-up delivery that beat Nabi's attempted flick and rapped him on the pads to send him back even after a DRS appeal.
Bumrah continued to bank on his bag of tricks and employed an off cutter to account for Najibullah Zadran, who tried to loft it into the off side but could only spoon it in the air to Virat Kohli in the cover-point region. Bumrah topped off his wicket quartet with the crucial dismissal of dangerman Rashid Khan, this time with a slower bouncer outside off. Rashid tried to cut it, but foxed by the change in pace and bounce, ended up slicing it to Kuldeep Yadav at deep cover, who took a spendid running, diving catch.