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Bumrah takes five as India claim slight edge over Proteas
Jasprit Bumrah shut his critics with one of his best five-wicket hauls in the traditional format as the Indian fast bowling unit gave the team slight edge over South Africa on an exhilarating second day of the third and final Test here on Wednesday.
Cape Town: Jasprit Bumrah shut his critics with one of his best five-wicket hauls in the traditional format as the Indian fast bowling unit gave the team slight edge over South Africa on an exhilarating second day of the third and final Test here on Wednesday.
Bumrah (23.3-8-42-5) was at the heart of India's swift and brutal counter-attack as he got his seventh five-wicket haul with fine complementary acts from Mohammed Shami (16-4-39-2) and Umesh Yadav (16-3-64-2) that helped them bundle out the Proteas for 210.
The lead of 13 that India managed was less about the quantum and more about the psychological advantage that they gained and despite losing Mayank Agarwal (7) and KL Rahul (10) cheaply, the visitors scored runs at a fair clip to reach 57 for 2 at stumps. Skipper Virat Kohli (14 batting) and Cheteshwar Pujara (9 batting), with a cumulative experience of 194 Tests, have the responsibility of taking the team to a winning total.
And while statistics at times are of little or no relevance but Kohli wouldn't be too unhappy to know that India have never lost a Test match in which his premier strike bowler has taken a five-wicket haul. It was a day when Kohli's captaincy acumen was worth praising as he made relevant bowling changes at the right time, juggled with subtle field placings and also took his 100th catch in Test cricket.
But someone who would be really smiling at the end of the day is Bumrah, who had a forgettable game at the Wanderers and copped a fair amount of flak for bowling too short and not depending on his strengths. There were analytics showing how his strike-rate (wickets per deliveries) had doubled since a back injury but on Wednesday, he showed that he is skipper Kohli's real X-factor, the man who makes the difference between a good and a world-class side.
One such delivery got South Africa's best performer Keegan Petersen (72 off 166 balls) as it kicked up awkwardly from length but enough for the batter to have a jab at it and Cheteshwar Pujara accepted the offering at second slip. But credit should also go to Shami, who in the post lunch session, got two wickets in three balls to unsettle the Proteas after Petersen and Rassie van der Dussen (21) had added 67 for the fourth wicket. If Umesh set up the session with a conventional outswinger that saw Van Der Dussen edging one to Kohli at second slip, Shami removed the dogged Temba Bavuma (28) and Kyle Verreynne (0) with two ideal Test match deliveries in the 56th over. The bounce available on the Newlands track isn't as steep as it was at the Centurion and the Wanderers which belong to the Highveld region.