For a young Indian fast bowler, a maiden Test cap in Cape Town on his first ever tour to South Africa, and getting AB de Villiers as the first wicket in the format would summarise a “dream debut”. But for the 24-year old Jasprit Bumrah, it wasn’t. “It was not a dream debut. I was happy with whatever I learnt from that match. As a bowler you look to get the first wicket early and I got AB de Villiers. It was a happy moment, and from there on, we took a lot more wickets,” the right-arm bowler said at a press conference in Centurion.
Perhaps the fact that India suffered a 72-run defeat in the first Test and are trailing 1-0 in the 3-match series prompted Bumrah to make the assertion. Speaking to reporters, the seamer added that he wishes to take the confidence he gained from the match for the rest of the tour. “As a bowler, my motto is not to get too excited and not to get too down after every match. I want to take confidence into the next match,” he said.
— BCCI (@BCCI) 11 January 2018
But in spite of the loss, Bumrah said that India will look to bounce back in Centurion and will learn from their mistakes. “Confidence is not dented after one match. If it happens, then you don’t deserve to play. Learn from the mistake you made and go forward. There is not a single cricketer who has not made a mistake,” he said. “It was a first good Test and a good learning experience for me because I have never played over here in South Africa. So I had a lot of things to learn from it. Now it is time to move forward and focus on the second Test,” he added.
— BCCI (@BCCI) 11 January 2018
The seamer added that the overseas conditions pose a challenge for him but said it will help him in becoming a better bowler. “It’s always challenging whenever you come to a new country. The wickets are different and the weather is different. So it’s always good to face new challenges. As you play more and more, you get to know a lot about the wickets. You get a fair idea about where to bowl and what kind of lines to bowl. It’s been good so far. I am still learning and hopefully in the further matches, I will be able to do better,” he said.
Bumrah said he prefers to not have any notions about the surfaces he bowls on. he also acknowledged that Indian bowlers erred in reading the bounce in the South African first innings, which yielded 286 runs for the hosts.
— BCCI (@BCCI) 9 January 2018
The bowler added that it took some time for India bowlers to get used to the conditions in the first Test but were more disciplined in the second innings. “We realized what mistakes we made in the first innings, so (on day four) we were trying to create pressure from both ends and focus on our lengths which were wrong in the first innings. We just tried to correct them and not overdo things because over here when there is help from the wicket, you try to do extra but that won’t help. So we were just trying to be disciplined and stick to basics,” he said.
The second Test begins at Supersport Park in Centurion on Saturday.