Pattinson relishes Bumrah’s IPL tutelage

James Pattinson’s escape from the depths of Melbourne’s coronavirus lockdown was as productive as it was unexpected, with a call from Mahela Jayawardene leading to IPL glory and Jasprit Bumrah masterclasses.

Mumbai Indians coach Jayawardene contacted Pattinson in late August regarding the prospect of being a last-minute replacement for veteran Lasith Malinga.

Pattinson, who went unsold in the IPL auction, sensed the Sri Lankan legend would pick someone else but awoke the next morning to a text message containing a formal offer.

A few days later he flew out to the UAE.

Pattinson made his IPL debut in the tournament opener then played a further nine games under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy as Mumbai stormed to their fifth IPL title.

The Victorian, who will warm up for the four-Test series against India by playing a tour game that begins in Sydney on Sunday, described the life-changing stretch as surreal.

The chance to swap notes with Mumbai pace aces Bumrah and Trent Boult was among many highlights.

Awe-struck Pattinson got to know Bumrah better, gaining an understanding of the express paceman’s wizardry and work ethic as he took down IPL rivals and prepared to terrorise Australia’s batsmen.

“Boom is one of the best, if not the best, T20 bowler in the world,” Pattinson told AAP.

“And he’s a fantastic guy.

“The biggest thing was just how much he loves talking about cricket … and he was happy to share a lot of information around his bowling mindset.

“He bowls a lot more than I thought he would at training. He just bowls and bowls and bowls … you see how switched on he is.”

Bumrah’s unique technique belies the speed he generates.

The 26-year-old’s approach to the crease is a by-product of a lack of space in the communal area of his family home in Ahmedabad.

Bumrah’s trademark yorker was honed inside his home, when he targeted the one spot that wouldn’t make noise and wake up his sleeping mother.

“You watch him bowl and just think ‘how does he do that!?’,” Pattinson said.

“I picked his brain. I was asking about his yorkers and how he gets them so good; he likes to bowl from a higher position and a few other things.”

Pattinson, an incumbent member of Australia’s Test XI, believes it is a good lesson in not tinkering with bowling actions for the sake of the textbook.

“It’s fantastic,” the right-armer said.

“He’s got an unusual action, been allowed to keep doing that and it’s what makes him successful.”

Studying New Zealand gun Boult was also predictably beneficial for Pattinson, who is desperate to play his first T20 or ODI for Australia since 2015.

“I lucked out a bit going to Mumbai, the most successful franchise in IPL history,” Pattinson said.

“It all happened so quickly. It was such a great experience and surprise.

“It ignited a spark to play more white-ball cricket … to try and get back into Australia’s white-ball teams.”

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