Tried to bowl the right length, says Bumrah

Tried to bowl the right length, says Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah hadn't played a single multiple-day game in more than one year and had been one of India's premier limited-overs bowler for as much time. But the right-arm quick has unlearned all his skills with the white ball and managed to find the right lengths and lines in remarkably quick time after a somewhat false start in the first innings of the first Test.

After a reasonable success in the first two Tests, the Gujarat bowler claimed his first five-wicket haul (5/54) on the second day of the third Test here on Thursday. His effort helped India restrict South Africa to 194 all out, just seven runs more than India's first innings total of 187 all out.

"It's always a dream to play Test cricket and to get a first five-wicket haul over here, it's always a great feeling," said Bumrah, who was happy to bowl on such pace-friendly surface.

Many an Indian paceman in the past have struggled to control their lengths, often getting carried away by the bounce and pace in the wicket. For someone on his first trip here and without having played a Test before, Bumrah's understanding of the conditions has been impressive.      

"We haven't played on many such wickets where there is so much help for the bowlers," he offered. "On such wickets there is always a temptation that you try harder to get more wickets. So at such time you have to stay in control and bowl disciplined lines. You have to tell yourself 'if you bowl good lines, the wickets will come'."

Controlling the movement of the ball either in the air or off the pitch has been challenging as the ball is swinging prodigiously when it's new and reversing as it gets old.

"With the new ball a lot is happening, so we are just trying to bowl good hard lengths here," he said when asked as to what are the right lengths on this pitch. "That is the basic plan. As soon as the ball gets softer, it is easier but it is still going up and down. We just wanted to create pressure as a unit from both ends. On this pitch, you are never set and you can get out any time. So that was our basic plan as a unit, we were talking that anytime anything can happen," he pointed out.  

Hashim Amla was the top run-scorer in South Africa's innings and the right-hander admitted it was one of toughest innings.

"I can think back recently in England we played, and there were a couple of tough wickets there as well. But this one has a lot of pace and a lot of bounce. Probably one of the paciest wickets that I have played on. There have been a couple in one or two years, quite fickle. In England one or two. Yeah, it's quite challenging to bat."

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