Centurion Test is in balance, says Jasprit Bumrah

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BCCI

Centurion Test is in balance, says Jasprit Bumrah

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SportsCafe Desk

01/16/2018

Jasprit Bumrah has claimed that the second Test of the series is in the balance despite the South African team ended the Day 3 with a 118-run lead. The pacer also praised Virat Kohli who scored a much-needed century stating that the knock was a crucial one and he brought India back into the game.

In the response to South Africa’s first innings score 335 runs, India failed to start on a good note as they lost two wickets for just 28 runs. At that moment, opener Murali Vijay started to create a partnership with the Indian skipper. After Vijay’s wicket, Kohli held the strike from one end and helped in building small and valuable partnerships with the other batsmen. With the help of Kohli’s 153-run knock, Team India scored 307 runs in their first innings and after Delhi’s batsman effort, it was Bumrah who kept the team in the hunt as he removed Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla cheaply.

"The game is still in balance if we get early wickets on Tuesday. The match can be in anybody's favour. We will look to create pressure on Tuesday as well. I think the game is still in balance right now," said Bumrah after stumps on day three as quoted by PTI.

"We wanted to keep things simple and build pressure as a unit. We wanted to build pressure from both ends, thinking if we dry up their runs they will have to make some opportunities. So we were just focusing on creating pressure. That was helping us and that was our basic game."

Kohli became the second Indian skipper to score a century in the Rainbow nation country. In 1996-97 Sachin Tendulkar scored 169 in Cape Town and in 2018, Kohli joined the list. The 29-year-old’s 153 run contribution helped his side reduce the first innings deficit to just 28 runs.

"Virat's innings was very crucial for us and he brought us back into the game. We lost few early wickets on Sunday as well, so he was playing an anchor role and till the end, he was fighting with us. It was a very important innings and he has always done well wherever he has gone. It was very important for us and it is good that the captain is leading from the front and taking responsibility," Bumrah said.

South Africa lost their two top scorers from the first innings with only three runs on the scoreboard. Then 33-year-old AB de Villiers came as a savior for his team scoring his 42nd half-century in just 78 balls. He was well supported by Dean Elgar who was at 36 when Day 3 game ended at 90/2 due to bad light. 

"It is always very challenging and AB is a world class batsman, everyone knows that. He has proved that over the years and he has done well everywhere. He is a great player and to do well against him always gives me confidence. I look at it as an opportunity and learn from it," said the Indian pacer.

Apart from de Villiers, who scored 65 and 35 runs in the Cape Town Test, it was weather which played a part in halting India’s momentum. The last session was affected by the rain and bad light and the Indian skipper was not happy that the Indian bowling department had to bowl with a wet ball. He also seemed disappointed when the umpires decided to stop the game due to bad light because the Indian pace attack was creating their dominance in the final session. 

"When we came, the outfield was wet so the ball went to the boundary sides and it got wet. So we asked the umpire, 'ball is still getting wet, what do we do'. We want the ball to be dry. The ball was swinging a little bit so the field being wet, both sides of the ball got wet and the ball didn't swing anymore. We were just having a word with the umpire that the ball is wet so the ball won't swing anymore. We were having a chat about what could be done in that situation," he said. 

"We were carrying a good momentum and we wanted to carry on. It's okay; we never get too disappointed because there is still lot of play is left in the match. We don't get too disheartened that this didn't happen. We wanted to carry on but the things didn't work out so it's okay."

Despite losing the first game, where he picked up four wickets in Cape Town, Bumrah tried to improved on his performance in his second game but returned wicket-less in South Africa’s first innings. But his exploits in the second innings signalled a sensational come back for the 24-year-old.

"I am happy to bowl wherever my captain wants me to bowl. If he tells me to bowl upfront and be aggressive with the new ball, I am happy to do that. I am happy to do first change as well," he added.

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