Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah became the third Indian to claim a Test hat-trick when he picked up the wickets of Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks and Roston Chase on consecutive deliveries. The other two Indians who have achieved this feat are Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan.

Harbhajan's hat-trick came in the legendary Kolkata Test between India and Australia in 2001. His three victims were Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne. Pathan left his impression on history in the very first over of the Karachi Test in 2006 when he got Salman Butt, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf out in successive balls.

Most people will regard Harbhajan's achievement as the most impressive since he got two of the greatest batsmen of his generation out. But supporters of Pathan would point out that the three Pakistani victims of Irfan were all top-class batsmen, so his hat-trick was more valuable.

However, it's not just the quality of batsmen dismissed but how they were dismissed which needs to be looked at while judging a hat-trick's quality.

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh during his hat-trickYouTube

In the case of Harbhajan, Ponting was dismissed when he played back to a spinning delivery and was caught plumb in front of the wicket. Gilchrist was out due to a horrendous decision by the umpire when he gave the batsman out despite the ball clearly pitching outside the leg-stump. The hat-trick was achieved when a poor delivery, possibly a doosra, yorker length, pitching around middle and leg stump was played on the leg side and Sadagopan Ramesh plucked a brilliant one-handed catch.

So, bad footwork, bad umpiring and a great catch got Harbhajan his hat-trick. Let's compare that to the feat of Pathan.

The first wicket of Butt was through a banana outswinger which took the edge and flew to slip. Younis was out lbw to a beautiful inswinger that trapped him in front of the stumps. The hat-trick was completed thanks to a horrible shot when Yousuf tried to play an ambitious drive and left a big gap open for another inswinger to sneak through.

Irfan Pathan
Pathan during his hat-trickYouTube

While Pathan was swinging the ball viciously, he was bowling at military medium speeds. Better and more careful stroke-play would have avoided the catastrophe for Pakistan.

Now let's come to Bumrah's hat-trick. The first scalp was of Darren Bravo through a near-unplayable delivery that swung prodigiously across the left-hander and took his outside edge. As Sunil Gavaskar pointed out on commentary, Bravo didn't do anything wrong but was undone by a ball that was too good. The next two deliveries were equally diabolical inswingers to Brooks and Chase.

The amount of swing was incredible and what's more, these deliveries were bowled at good pace. The first and the third balls of the hat-trick were delivered at 144 km/h while the second ball was at 135 km/h. Such deliveries would have been challenging for even the best batsmen in the world.

So, it's clear that Bumrah's hat-trick was entirely due to his great quality and brilliance and not because of any other reason. Hence, it was the best hat-trick ever taken by an Indian in Test cricket, maybe even in all cricket.