Mohammed Siraj’s six-wicket haul against South Africa in the first session of the second Test in Cape Town once again showed India’s pace might. Apart from Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah and Muesh Kumar took two wickets each. It was yet another proof of Indian pace bowling being one of the best in the world. In a straight spell of nine overs, Siraj picked a career-best 6 for 15 as the South African batters made a beeline back to the dug-out, unable to counter the disconcerting bounce and the movement, both inward and outward, that he extracted off the surface.
Former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar said that Kapil Dev has impacted India’s pace prowess a lot.
“All thanks to Kapil Dev. He has shown that in India you don’t necessarily have to be a spin bowler. Even in Indian pitches one can take wicket. Of course when you go to wickets like South Africa, England Australia, New Zealand, you will get lot more assistance as a new ball bowler. Since then India have produced a range of fast bowlers,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
“But particularly in the last 10-12 years, thanks to the IPL, there are a lot of fast bowlers who have come to the fore. Now India have a bench strength of fast bowlers which probably is going to be the envy of the cricket world. There are left-handers, right-handers, there is so much of talent available if any of these guys want to take a break. You saw when Jasprit Bumrah was not present, how Indian bowlers came in and performed. particularly Mohammed Shami. I think this will be a tribute to Kapil Dev. I also think for the first time in many, many years India will win a match on his birthday on January 6.”
On a humid Wednesday morning, South African batters found what a great leveller the game of cricket is with Siraj ripping the heart out of the Proteas batting with a masterclass of pace, swing and seam movement. The Proteas innings ended in just 23.2 overs.
David Bedingham (12) and Kyle Verreynne (15) were the only two batters to hit the double digits as the South African supporters in stands were stunned into silence.
Jasprit Bumrah (2/25 in 8 overs) also kept the pressure from the other end as Indian skipper Rohit Sharma kept his promise of making opposite number Dean Elgar’s life miserable in his farewell Test.
Mukesh Kumar (2/0) also wrapped the tail up and proved that he is way better than a bits and pieces Shardul Thakur in these conditions.
Having been pilloried for conceding 400 plus runs in the heavy defeat at the Centurion, even the biggest of Indian supporters wouldn’t have envisaged such a roaring comeback from the bowlers.
Siraj kept the ball on fuller lengths between 4-6 metres and with bounce got most balls to jag back in.
From the other end, Bumrah hit the back of length area as Rohit set completely attacking fields, albeit of different nature.
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