With India already placed in a strong position with a 166-run lead, Indian seamer Jasprit Bumrah believes that R Ashwin will play a major role, when Australia come out to bat to chase down the target. After a gritty 71-run partnership between Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara for the third wicket, India reached 151/3 at the end of Day 3 of the first Test at the Adelaide Oval.
“Ashwin will obviously play a more crucial role now because with the rough, we saw Nathan Lyon using the rough to his advantage. He is an experienced bowler and knows what he has to do. So he will probably work on it and he will play a crucial role for sure,” Bumrah said at the end of day’s play.
Bumrah credited the bowling department for packing up the Australian tailenders in the first session on Saturday. The seamer stated that bowlers are constantly trying to figure out the lengths which are useful.
Comparing the Australian conditions with the ones in England and South Africa, the 25-year-old said, “In South Africa and England, there was a lot of lateral movement. Here the wickets are slightly flatter because you get bounce, but you have to be consistent.”
Bumrah remains confident that India will take a substantial lead on Sunday, however he emphasized that the first session will be vital for both the sides. “First session tomorrow will be a very important. If we capitalize on that, that will leave us in a very good place in this match,” said Bumrah.
Bumrah, who was the most successful among the Indian seamers, said, “There is no secret, obviously. I try to ask questions to players who have played here before, or wherever they have played. In England, when I was not playing, I was bowling in the nets and I was keeping an eye on what was happening. So I try to copy that in the nets.”
He added that bowling constantly in limited over cricket has also helped him plunge in the longer format of the game. “Before South Africa, I was consistently playing one-day cricket. I was bowling and there were a lot of overs under my belt. I always try to learn and always try to ask questions. I try and keep an eye on the opposition as well, what is working for them, maybe try and learn from them. All these things always help you – do your research, do your homework, keep an eye on the lengths of the different grounds and different players, what they do,” said Bumrah.
The 25-year-old, who is on his maiden Test tour in Australia, stated that watching the old Test match footages has helped him tremendously. “I didn’t talk to anyone in particular (for this Australian tour) but watching old footages, what works over here and how they have taken wickets. Watching good spells of old bowlers, what they have done over here, how to get wickets. Asking the bowling coach questions and asking the senior players who have come here before who know what to do over here,” he said.
The bowler also applauded Pujara’s valiant 123-run knock in the first innings stating that it drove Indian to an advantageous position. “Pujara has showed a lot of patience, that is the key element in Test cricket. He knows his game in and out, and he knows his strengths. He is playing around that strength. He knows how to leave the ball well. He is playing with the bowlers’ patience as well. He has done that over the years, and he has started to play with a lot of maturity. That’s his strength. A great knock (in the first innings), and hopefully he continues tomorrow,” Bumrah said.