A few eyebrows were raised when Jasprit Bumrah made it to the playing eleven for the 1st Test against South Africa at Cape Town. Few called it a gamble, few doubted his red ball exploits and match practice while the rest believed the team should have gone with experience more than exuberance of youth. Bumrah though, had other plans – he had bowled his heart out in the nets in the build up to the 1st Test and exclaimed he felt no nervousness whatsoever in his first outing in Test whites.
“It’s not like in my life I was playing a first-class game for the first time. I have played a lot of four-day games earlier as well. It’s a gap, but it’s fine,” Bumrah said after practice in the build up to the 2nd Test in Centurion. “My basic plan was to go inside and have a feel of the wicket and then make changes in my bowling accordingly.”
The fast bowler sounded wise, which he was the moment he walked out to bowl in the second innings. After being hit for runs in the first innings and claiming just one victim, Bumrah came back strong with a telling performance picking up three more in the second essay.
“In the first innings we thought we bowled a little fuller than normal because in India the wickets are different where we have to pitch the ball a little fuller to get swing and you have to get the batsmen on the front foot. Over here there is bounce, so there is a little bit of difference.
“We analysed that and tried to adapt that in the second innings and as a unit we were able to create pressure. That was the basic plan going into the second innings, and that worked well. So hopefully, we will see videos of how the pitches behave here in Centurion and we will plan according to it. My basic plan always is to never go by perceptions that this will happen, and this won’t happen. Nowadays, anything can happen anywhere. So, day by day, learn from every session which you have, every experience which you have, and analyse and go forward.”
On the team front, Bumrah was confident that India could would comeback strong after the loss in the 1st Test. The spirits were high and the team was looking to stay in a positive frame of mind, believed Bumrah. “We are taking each day at a time and trying to train well. Your confidence doesn’t take a dent after one Test match. If your confidence goes away after one match, you don’t deserve to play! According to me, you learn from the mistakes you have made and keep moving forward. I have not played over here but as far the net wickets go, there’s a good amount of bounce. So, we’re trying to adapt to it and the mistakes that we made in the first match, we’re trying to rectify them.”