Former India cricketer, Mohinder Amarnath, has picked out Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah as the future stars of Test cricket. Hardik, in particular, showed immense application to take India from 92/7 to 209, helping reduce South Africa’s lead to just 77. Amarnath was happy to see the youngster continue in his aggressive approach, even though he was up against some of the best seam bowlers in the world.
He feels that the Mumbai Indians player should be promoted up the order in future test matches, in order to put the opposition on the backfoot.
After a disastrous start to their South African tour, India will be working towards a much better performance in the 2nd test match at Centurion. Even though the hosts wrapped up the 1st test match in 4 days, there were definitely some positive for Kohli to take away. Hardik Pandya in particular impressed with both bat and bowl, while Bumrah performed exceedingly well in his debut match.
In his column for TOI, Amarnath wrote, “Pandya should keep playing the way he did in the first innings [of 1st Test]. He loves hitting the ball and that’s the way to go. He also should bat higher as he can take the attack to the opposition. India need to show more guts against pace bowling and need someone at the top to come through.”
Bumrah, who finished the match with figures of 4/112 including a beautiful dismissal of Faf Du Plessis in the 2nd innings left Amarnath very impressed. “Bumrah’s inclusion in this format is a good sign for India. Now they have a lot of variation as far as bowling is concerned whenever the team plays overseas.” Said Amarnath who played over 65 test matches for India.
In his article, he also questions the diabolic performance of the Indian batting unit, which failed to chase down 208. “The batting again is an issue. Actually, it was amazing — I’ve never seen the ball beat the bat so often as when India were batting. In both innings! That shows it’s not just about technique but you have to play aggressively as well,” he said.
However, Amarnath remains concerned about India’s decision not to play a warm-up game, thereby giving them very little chance to get used to the conditions. “Whenever you play overseas, the first Test is always very challenging. This is because after playing on slower, flatter, low bounce pitches at home suddenly you go abroad and you don’t get much match practice before the big game. It does take some time to get used to the bounce and pace but we were beaten fair and square. I was expecting the bowlers to do well and always felt that it could be challenging for the batsmen to continue the form they show at home,” he concluded at the end.