Linde's tough learning curve

South Africa's George Linde (second from right) celebrates with team-mates after dismissing India's Ravindra Jadeja on the second day of the third Test in Ranchi on Sunday. AFP

For a debutante, George Linde’s performance in the third Test against India here has been reasonably good so far. The left-arm spinner’s effort of 4/133 can be misleading. Linde, replacing South Africa’s lead spinner Keshav Maharaj, bowled stump-to-stump for the most part of his 31 overs and his wickets included centurion Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja.

In the spin department, Linde became Faf du Plessis’ only hope as Dane Piedt continued to be poor. However, Linde didn’t finish his innings without learning tough lessons. Tail-ender Umesh Yadav was ruthless against him, smashing him for five sixes.

“I learnt that consistency is important. I got it wrong on the leg side yesterday. Today I was a lot better. I was trying to bowl middle and off. Against India, you don’t want to get it wrong on the leg side. However, in the end, I learnt the lesson of consistency when he (Umesh) went after me. So yes, my debut has been about a lot of lessons, ” Linde told reporters after Sunday's play.

The 27-year-old said that he is still coming to terms with his Test debut. “I didn’t expect to play this Test match, first of all. I didn’t expect to play a Test match this year. When I got a call-up, luckily, I got a few days to just settle into everything. If someone had told me I would take four wickets on my debut, I would have taken it any time of the year,” he said.

Linde rued that a tough chance of Rohit off his bowling was put down on the opening day. “He played really well. He just gave us one chance. It was a difficult one. And after that, he didn’t give us another opportunity. It was a good knock,” he said.

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