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PIX: Bumrah bags 5 as India gain slender edge over SA

Last updated on: January 12, 2022 22:16 IST
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Images from Day 2 of the third Test between South Africa and India, in Cape Town, on Wednesday.

India pacer Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with skipper Virat Kohli after dismissing South Africa's Keegan Petersen during Day 2 of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town, on Wednesday.

IMAGE: India pacer Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with skipper Virat Kohli after dismissing South Africa's Keegan Petersen during Day 2 of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town, on Wednesday. Photograph: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters

Jasprit Bumrah silenced his critics with one of his best five-wicket hauls in the traditional format as India’s fast bowling unit gave the team a slender edge over South Africa on an exhilarating second day in the third and final Test, in Cape Town, 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 they gained, and despite losing Mayank Agarwal (7) and K L Rahul (10) cheaply, the visitors scored runs at a fair clip to reach 57 for 2 at stumps.

South Africa pacer Marco Jansen celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of India opener K L Rahul.

IMAGE: South Africa pacer Marco Jansen celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of India opener K L Rahul in the second innings. Photograph: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters

Skipper Virat Kohli (batting 14) and Cheteshwar Pujara (batting 9), with a cumulative experience of 194 Tests, have the responsibility of taking the team to a winning total.

While statistics at times are of little or no relevance, Kohli wouldn't be too unhappy to know that India have never lost a Test in which his premier strike bowler has taken a five-wicket haul.

Kohli's captaincy acumen on the day 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.

Kagiso Rabada celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of India opener Mayank Agarwal.

IMAGE: Kagiso Rabada celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of India opener Mayank Agarwal in the second innings. Photograph: Sumaya Hisham/Reuters

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 delivery) had doubled since a back injury, but on Wednesday, he showed he is skipper Kohli's real X-factor, the man who makes the difference between a good and a world-class side.

South Africa's Keegan Peterson celebrates scoring a half century during Day 2.

IMAGE: South Africa's Keegan Peterson celebrates scoring a half century during Day 2. Photograph: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The delivery that got Aiden Markram was pitched just a shade outside off-stump and it seemed to be going straight but suddenly jagged back embarrassing the South African opener, who had shouldered arms.

Whenever Markram sees the replay, he will know that Bumrah made him feel inadequate when it came to knowing where his off-stump was.

Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of Temba Bavuma.

IMAGE: Mohammed Shami celebrates after dismissing Temba Bavuma. Photograph: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Bumrah slightly altered the length, making it slightly fuller on the off-stump and the off-stump channel line. The length and bounce was such that batters seemed confused about whether it would bounce above stumps or come at the stumps.

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.

Pacer Umesh Yadav is ecstatic after dismissing Rassie van der Dussen.

IMAGE: Pacer Umesh Yadav is ecstatic after dismissing Rassie van der Dussen. Photograph: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images

But credit should also go to Shami, who in the post-lunch session, got two wickets off three deliveries 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 out-swinger 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.

India pacer Jasprit Bumrah celebrates after dismissing South Africa opener Aiden Markram during Day 2 of the thrd Test at Newlands, Cape Town, on Wednesday.

IMAGE: Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with teammates after dismissing South Africa opener Aiden Markram in the morning session on Day 2. Photograph: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The deliveries had everything, upright seam and pitched fuller on the off-stump with just about adequate movement.

Bavuma was caught low by a diving Kohli while Rishabh Pant had a smart take to remove his opposite number.

At the stroke of tea, Bumrah settled scores with Marco Jansen by sending his off-stump for a walk.

Keshav Maharaj is bowled by Umesh Yadav

IMAGE: Keshav Maharaj is bowled by Umesh Yadav. Photograph: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The best part of the session was skipper Kohli's adjustment when he, at second slip, decided to stand a few steps ahead of the first slip after realising that the ball was not carrying fully.

There were a couple of times when Shardul Thakur (6-1-21-0) found the outside edge of Petersen's bat but, on both occasions, the ball died down in front of skipper Kohli at first slip.

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