Jasprit Bumrah has been India's premier fast bowler over the last 15 months but his unconventional bowling action may result in a serious injury to his "lumbar vertebrae" feels Dr Simon Feros, a lecturer in functional anatomy/strength and conditioning sciences.
Feros is a part of Deakin University's sports team in Victoria, Australia and studied the Indian pacer's bowling action at length along with renowned physiotherapist John Gloster. It is to be noted that the lumbar vertebrae are made up of five vertebrae between the rib cage and the pelvis.
"Bumrah tends to release the ball outside the line of the front foot. This means he can 'push' at the ball, usually resulting in an excellent in-swing delivery to a right-hand batter. However, if he exceeds 45 degrees of trunk lateral flexion (which I think he may on some occasions), then this element of his action may pose some injury concerns to his lumbar vertebrae," said Feros.
Many experts and former cricketers are also of the opinion that the unusual bowling action of Bumrah makes him prone to injuries and this may have an impact on his longevity in the international game. But Feros also made a positive observation about the 25-year-old.
"In terms of pelvis and shoulder segment alignment in back foot contact, delivery stride, and back foot contact, Bumrah's action looks safe; he doesn't appear to place his spine under excessive torsional stress," Feros said.
Gloster, meanwhile, said that his unique action makes him lethal as it enables him to bowl deliveries like the Yorker with consistency. "His unique action allows him to deliver consistently the types of deliveries he possesses, particularly his yorker. The ability of Lasith Malinga to be so effective was in part due to his unusual action (making it often difficult to pick up the ball)," said Gloster.
"Bumrah has developed muscle control, stability and power to support this action to date," Gloster added. "The body is an amazing machine and given time will adapt to most anything, including the capacity to repeatedly deliver a ball at high speeds and accuracy with this visually unusual bowling action. Given his current effectiveness in world cricket, I feel his earlier coaches should be applauded for not trying to change his action and 'mould' him into the 'perfect action' bowler."
Bumrah is the number 1 ranked ODI bowler in the world by the International Cricket Council and is currently representing India in the five-match ODI series against Australia. Once this series concludes, Bumrah will represent Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Bumrah is a vital cog in the Indian armour and will be key to India's success in the ICC Cricket World Cup which will be held in England from May.