Bumrah: ‘It could be anybody’s game’

Both Jasprit Bumrah and Hashim Amla, two stars of a fascinating second day’s play in Johannesburg, believe the Test is evenly poised.

Jasprit Bumrah (centre) is congratulated by his team-mates after his dismissal of Hashim Amla on Day Two.   -  AFP

India seamer Jasprit Bumrah was delighted with maiden five-wicket innings haul in Tests here on Thursday. He said, “It’s always a dream to play Test cricket and to get a first five wicket haul over here is a great feeling.”

On the Wanderers pitch being a seamer’s paradise, he said, “We haven’t played on many such wickets where there is so much help for the bowlers. On such wickets there is always a temptation that you try harder or get more wickets. So at such time you have to stay in control and bowl disciplined lines.”

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Asked about the state of the Test, he replied, “We have a good start right now. Match is in balance right now. It could be anybody’s game.”

Dwelling on Hashim Amla’s batting, he said, “He was trying to shuffle a lot. The ball was doing so much that he was trying to do something else. So that was working for him. We thought that we will probably use one fuller ball straight up. All these battles are very interesting.”

Difficult wicket

Batting ace Amla, who notched up a half-century in difficult batting conditions, said, “This probably was one of the toughest pitches I have played on recently. In England, too, we played on a couple of difficult wickets but this one has a lot of pace, bounce. Probably one of the paciest wickets that I have played on.”

About shuffling towards the off-stump to counter the away movement, Amla observed., “I just figured with the ball doing so much, I had to get into the channel. If it’s outside, try and leave it. I know you can take a few in body and hands but it’s part of the game, yeah it was as simple as it is.”

Dwelling on Kagiso Rabada’s determined batting as night-watchman, he noted, “On wickets like this, there is more chance of playing and missing. But he kept good intensity, kept leaving as well as he could. We saw a few flicks towards the end which were amazing from him.”

Commenting on the state of the match, Amla said, “I think it’s very evenly poised, anything can happen tomorrow morning. Even if we have to chase 300, it’s fine.”