Fresh from his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket, speedster Jasprit Bumrah has made it quite clear to the Proteas that the current Indian pace attack will not take a step back and will reply to their short-pitched stuff in a very similar manner.
"Indian pacers have also got pace (nowadays). We are just trying to get the wickets (whilst bowling short to the tailenders). If we get it from them, we can give it back as well. That was our basic plan as they were trying to play some shots," Bumrah was quoted by PTI as saying.
Resuming their innings after being 6 for 1 at stumps on Day 1, South Africa didn’t experience the best of start on the second day as they lost Dean Elgar when the score was just 16. Even though veteran Hashim Amla along with the nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada put on a 64-run stand for the third wicket, the hosts batsmen didn’t look comfortable against the fiery Indian pace attack. None of the Proteas batter except for Amla (61 off 121) crossed the mark of 50.
Bumrah picked 5 for 54 while Bhuvneshwar Kumar scalped three wickets as India bowled South Africa out for 194 in their first innings. The tourists finished the second day on 49-1, having secured a vital lead of 42 runs. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that the world No. 1 Test team perhaps had the best day at the office in their ongoing South Africa tour.
"We always want to contribute as a pack. On another day, may be another bowler will get more wickets but we wanted to create pressure as a pack. It was always a dream to play Test cricket and get a first five-wicket haul over here. It's always a great feeling (when you are able to do so)," said Bumrah.
"It was not frustrating (to see Rabada bat) because he was playing well. So you sometimes acknowledge that the batsman is playing well. You don't try too much and just don't go away from your plans. This is what we were discussing. On these type of pitches, wickets can fall in bunches. We were focussing on that," he further added.
Talking about the prized scalp of Amla, Bumrah said: "Amla 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 would probably use one fuller ball straight up. That could also give the message that we are trying to hit the stumps.
"All these battles are very interesting on such wickets as it's always challenging and you keep on learning when such challenges come. You are very happy whenever you get his (Amla) wicket, so I am very happy.
"He was beaten a lot of times but we were happy that he got out (the easy way he did)," he added.
When asked about his giant stride in Test cricket, Jasprit credited it to the several senior bowlers who have helped him thoroughly.
"I don't think about whether I am good here or over there. I just focus wherever I am going what preparation I am doing and don't focus on what the opinions are. It's very good that people have opinions but my basic aim was that wherever I go I focus in the present moment.
"This is red ball cricket right now, so I try to focus on what works in red ball cricket and try to ask questions to all successful bowlers," concluded Bumrah.