First, it was cloudy, then it drizzled and then it felt like the monsoon had hit Cape Town. You could sense the smell of fresh rain water mixed with mud almost giving a feeling of home back in India. Conditions on the ground though were different to what it would have been at home. There was some nip in the air, juice on the centre pitch and lots of bounce and carry for the keeper as India took on the field later in the noon after they were forced to practice indoors for the first half of the day.
The bowlers were snaring pace and it proved to be a good contest between bat and ball. The Indian pace attack during practice - Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah - rejoiced the conditions on offer and made full use of it.
Talking about things the bowling attack would need to counter in South Africa, Bhuvneshwar added, “The first thing that comes to our mind when it comes to South Africa is bouncier wickets, seaming wickets but that’s not a sure thing. When it comes to batsmen there is bounce and those unplayable deliveries but when it comes to bowlers, the Kookaburra is one of the toughest balls to bowl with. It doesn’t do too much after 25-30 overs. These are the kind of situations we are tackling with. Bounce is something ever fast bowler enjoys. That is something we want to cover. If there is extra bounce what are the kind of fields we can set for that. These are the little things we are doing in the practice sessions.”
This is an exciting pace attack on offer and India captain had said earlier that he believes this side can take 20 wickets. Every pacer in this line-up has his own skill set and brings that facet of his game to the fore. For the pace attack, it was all about learning from each other and putting them to practice. “We have different strengths, so we pick few things that could help our bowling. Like if I pick something from Umesh, Ishant or Shami; that’s reverse swing. They pick swing from me so it definitely helps us to get better.”