They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Certainly when it comes from the leader of your team, it must be considered a great compliment. This is exactly what India's ace fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah got from his captain Virat Kohli. The pacer from Gujarat was expected to be one of the stars of this World Cup and help India greatly with his bowling. That is precisely what he did and produced another example of his brilliance.
But Bumrah isn't just great but also very unique. His bowling action is one of a kind and generating high speeds from it, as he usually does, is something that has baffled even the most seasoned critics of the game. It's an action that no coach would suggest to his pupils and few would be willing to accept but somehow, for Bumrah, it has worked very well.
The temptation to copy the action proved too much for Indian captain Kohli and he decided to try his hand at it. ICC's official Twitter page uploaded a video where the skipper can be seen imitating his main strike bowler's action during one of India's pre-game practice sessions. This was probably before the start of play on the reserve day of the semi-final between India and New Zealand.
In the video, Virat can be seen standing near Bumrah and then imitates his run up – including keeping his head tilted to one side as the bowler does. After he delivers the ball, Kohli takes off on a mock celebration, again mimicking his teammate's style.
Unfortunately for both Kohli and Bumrah, the latter's action would no longer be seen in the World Cup as India lost their semi-final to New Zealand. However, the brilliance of the fast bowler from Ahmedabad would remain a key ingredient of India's success for a long time to come. With the Test Championship starting in a few weeks, the importance of Bumrah only increases. Kohli clearly knows the value of his main fast bowler.