Jasprit Bumrah, India’s ace fast bowler, bagged his seventh five-wicket haul on Day 2 of the third Test match against South Africa in Cape Town. India bundled out South Africa for a paltry 210, gaining a small lead of 13 runs at the halfway stage of the match.
Over the last few years, the Indian pace attack has been at the helm, bringing India back from troubled situations. In the ongoing third test as well, the bowlers bowled superbly after the batters managed a below-par score of 223.
Jasprit Bumrah Has The X-Factor With Him : Ashish Nehra
Former Indian seamer Ashish Nehra dissected India’s bowling performance at the end of Day 2. Ashish Nehra spoke highly of Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah in his review.
“Bumrah rarely upsets his captain. Indian captains, be it Virat Kohli or MS Dhoni have turned to Bumrah in crucial situations. He has the X-factor with him.”
He added: “Bumrah has a variety of deliveries in bouncers, slower ones, or Yorkers. But he understands that they are rarely used in Test cricket. He has mastered bowling in proper line and length which is required in Test cricket.”
It is noteworthy that Jasprit Bumrah bowled 24 overs in South Africa’s first innings. Whereas the next highest overs bowled were 16 by both, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami. Ashish Nehra also said that Mohammed Shami is no less than Jasprit Bumrah.
Jasprit Bumrah picked his 7th fifer in Test cricket as he delivered a terrific spell with figures of 23.3-8-42-5. It’s notable that India never lost a Test match when Jasprit Bumrah took a fifer. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami bagged two wickets each, and Shardul Thakur picked up one.
“Jasprit Bumrah has impressed a lot since 2018. However, Shami has equally impressed me. It will be difficult to choose between the two if I have to select anyone. Shami is able to take wickets even when batters are settled.”
Mohammed Shami has already picked up 13 wickets in the ongoing series averaging a mere 19.46 with a five-wicket haul in the 1st Test. He is India’s leading wicket-taker in the ongoing series and 3rd overall after Kagiso Rabada (18) and Marco Jansen (16). Ashish Nehra also explained that South Africa gave up a few more runs in the last session due to inconsistent lines and lengths.
“Indian bowlers have been very good at bowling around the off-stump channel on fourth or fifth stump. They have bowled better than South African bowlers.”
India, at the end of Day 2, led by 70 runs besides losing two wickets. The openers lost their wickets quite quickly, but Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli managed to remain unscathed towards the end of the day’s play.
Ashish Nehra: Lead Of 70 Runs A Very Important Lead As Chasing More Than 200 Runs In The 4th Innings Always Difficult In Tests
Ashish Nehra believes that India will be able to defend a target of around 200 in the fourth innings.
“Lead of 70 runs is a very important lead. If a team is leading by 70 runs, with the loss of only 2 wickets, it is in a good position on any surface. As chasing more than 200 runs in fourth innings is always difficult in Test matches.”
Keegan Petersen played a fine inning of 72 for South Africa while losing partners at the other end. Ashish Nehra believes that the Proteas missed out on getting a lead of 30-35 runs.
“Instead of South Africa getting a lead of 30-35 runs, India managed a lead of 13 runs at the end of second innings. [Subsequently], the speed at which India scored in the last session, was also good. India must be happy with it, and consider it as a mental victory.”
There are still three days left in the ongoing Test match. Day 3 is often termed as the moving day. It will be interesting to see if India can bat throughout the day or if South Africa will make early inroads.