It was in the 1st Test match against South Africa, that India pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who is considered a short-format specialist, was handed his Test debut. India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun revealed that it was pre-decided and so, Bumrah was rested during the Test series against Sri Lanka in 2017.
What was going to be India’s toughest tour in recent history, has turned out quite differently now that Kohli’s men have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the 6 match ODI series, following their historic win in the 3rd test match at Johannesburg. Apart from Virat Kohli’s heroic performance on this tour, it’s been the bowling contingent that has impressed not only fans of Indian cricket but current and ex-players alike.
Jasprit Bumrah’s Test debut against South Africa
It was in the 1st test match itself that India sprang a surprise by handing a debut to Jasprit Bumrah, who till then was seen as a specialist in shorter formats. However, it was his superb spell in the 2nd innings that gave India a chance to take an unlikely lead in the 3 match series. Even in the 3rd test match, it was the bowling combination of Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar and Ishant that brought the hosts on their knees and secured a historic first win in the South Africa tour.
After an excellent display by India’s seamers in the Test series, it was the turn of the spinners to take over in the ODI series. India’s spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have picked up a total of combined 21 wickets, which has resulted in South Africa being bowled out for the dismal scores of 269, 118 and 179 in the first 3 ODI’s, all of which were won by India.
Bharat Arun is more than pleased by India’s bowlers
Speaking about the performance of the Indian bowling department on a South African tour, whose success was largely hinging on the performance the batsmen, India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun said, as reported by the Times of India, “Cannot ask for anything better, they have done a tremendous job. Must say I am more than pleased.”
The former Indian test player was part of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for many years before joining the Indian team. During his time at the academy, he has worked closely with the likes of Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Shami, Yadav and Ishant and has learnt a lot about their abilities with the ball.
Keeping all those details in mind, Bharat Arun was aware of the fact that if India uses it’s bowlers according to the conditions available in South Africa, they would definitely trouble the opposition. Hence the decision to give Bumrah the debut cap in the 1st test match, a decision that was highly successful as the Mumbai Indians bowler ended the series as the second highest wicket-taker with 14 wickets.
During Sri Lanka Tests, Bumrah prepared for South Africa
“We had made a conscious decision that we will play Bumrah (in SA). So, we deliberately kept him out of the Test matches against Sri Lanka. He was at the NCA working on his fitness and strength, because we knew the workload in South Africa was going to be pretty high. We prepared him accordingly and I think he was the pick of the bowlers,” Bharat Arun explained.
India and South Africa are currently playing the 4th ODI in Johannesburg, knowing that a win is a must for the home team, in the hope of at least drawing the series.