Jasprit Bumrah had made a name for himself in the short formats of the game since his debut in 2016. Every cricket fan was waiting for his debut in Test cricket and former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra feels that Bumrah might play in the first Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
“Jasprit Bumrah can be a good choice for the first Test in Cape Town. I don’t know what’s there in the team management’s mind but he is the kind of bowler, who can be an asset on the Newlands track during the first Test,” Nehra told PTI.
“We have seen Bumrah primarily in white ball cricket but just go back a year and check out how many overs he had bowled for Gujarat in Ranji Trophy. He has the most lethal yorker among the five pacers along with good slower ones. Also, he has an awkward high-arm action, which can be very difficult to pick initially. All these factors work in Bumrah’s favor,” feels Nehra, who toured South Africa in 2001.
Nehra said that the conditions in Cape Town in January might not be conducive to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, as the hot atmosphere might not aid him with seam and swing. Nehra also said that Bumrah won’t have much problem bowling with the Kookaburra balls in South Africa.
“Bumrah, in last two years, has bowled a lot with white kookaburra in limited overs matches. If we are talking about the seam, it’s the same for the red as well as white ball. And when the seam is no longer pronounced, ones who can hit the deck hard get an advantage,” he said.
Nehra said that his first choice fast bowlers will be Mohd Shami and Ishant Sharma.
He said, “Shami is your strike bowler but he will at the maximum bowl six over spells at one go. He is your main weapon and you have to use him judiciously. Now people raise questions about Ishant Sharma’s strike-rate but it needs to be realized that what he brings to the table.”
“Ishant is a bowler, who can stifle batsmen bowling over after over from one end. That is a quality that a lot of bowlers don’t have. There have been times that Ishant has created pressure from one end and it has helped bowlers from other end get wickets,” he added.
For the third pace bowler, Nehra said “It’s the choice between Bumrah, Bhuvi and Umesh Yadav. Now Umesh has a fantastic outswinger at a good pace. He has bowled a lot in home conditions during the past season and is also a contender. But I believe the choice would be very much condition specific.”
Nehra said that South Africa will definitely do well in their home conditions and Team India will need to play at their best to overcome the opposition.
“It’s well-documented by now that each and every top cricketing nation nowadays is playing well at home. Look at Ashes, where Australia have not only won it but they dominated each of the first three Test matches. Obviously South Africa will come hard at us but this is a very balanced team. This is currently the best Indian team that had picked itself,” Nehra said.