India vs South Africa: Jasprit Bumrah says Centurion Test is evenly poised despite Proteas' 118-run lead

Bumrah bowled a sensational first spell and removed both Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla cheaply before the hosts recovered thanks to AB de Villiers' fifty.

PTI, Jan 16, 2018 11:52:09 IST

Centurion: Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah has insisted that the second Test hangs in the balance despite South Africa taking a 118-run lead in the second innings with eight wickets in hand.

"The game is still in balance if we get early wickets tomorrow. The match can be in anybody's favour. We will look to create pressure tomorrow as well. I think the game is still in balance right now," said Bumrah after stumps on Day three.

India's bowler Jasprit Bumrah, reacts after his delivery against South Africa's batsman AB de Villiers, during the third day of the second cricket test match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Jasprit Bumrah got the wickets of Aiden Makram and Hashim Amla on Day 3 to give India a good start. AP

Bumrah bowled a sensational first spell and removed both Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla cheaply. But the hosts recovered thanks to a fine AB de Villiers half-century.

"We wanted to keep things simple and build pressure as a unit. We wanted to build pressure from both ends, thinking if we dry up their runs they will have to make some opportunities.

"So we were just focusing on creating pressure. That was helping us and that was our basic game, said Bumrah.

De Villiers led his team's revival from two for three in the sixth over with an unbeaten 50 off 78 balls.

"It is always very challenging and AB is a world class batsman, everyone knows that. He has proved that over the years and he has done well everywhere. He is a great player and to do well against him always gives me confidence. I look at it as an opportunity and learn from it," said the Indian pacer.

Rain and bad light intervened twice in the last session. Indian skipper Virat Kohli wasn't too happy that the visitors had to bowl with a wet ball after the rain break. He was also not pleased that the players were taken off just when the Indian pacers were in the ascendancy in the final session.

"When we came, the outfield was wet so the ball went to the boundary sides and it got wet. So we asked the umpire, the ball is still getting wet, what do we do.

"We want the ball to be dry. The ball was swinging a little bit so the field being wet, both sides of the ball got wet and the ball didn't swing anymore. We were just having a word with the umpire that the ball is wet so the ball won't swing anymore. We were having a chat about what could be done in that situation," he said.

"We were carrying a good momentum and we wanted to carry on. Its okay; we never get too disappointed because there is still a lot of play is left in the match. We don't get too disheartened that this didn't happen. We wanted to carry on but the things didn't work out so its okay," he added.

Talking about the drop/missed chance off Dean Elgar as Parthiv Patel failed to go for the catch, Bumrah said, We don't criticise them. It's not like they didn't go for the catch on purpose. It is okay, it happens in the game.

"You cannot be too hard on them because a lot of the game is still left. We cannot make fun of them or put them under pressure because we have to forget the catch and move forward now."

Kohli had rescued India from a precarious situation with a majestic knock of 153 that reduced the first innings deficit to 28 runs.

"Virat's innings was very crucial for us and he brought us back into the game. We lost few early wickets yesterday as well, so he was playing an anchor role and until the end he was fighting with us.

"It was a very important innings and he has always done well wherever he has gone. It was very important for us and it is good that the captain is leading from the front and taking responsibility," Bumrah said.

When asked about the difference between opening the bowling and coming first change, Bumrah replied, "I am happy to bowl wherever my captain wants me to bowl. If he tells me to bowl upfront and be aggressive with the new ball, I am happy to do that.

"I am happy to do first change as well," he added.

Updated Date: Jan 16, 2018 11:52:09 IST

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