INDvSA 3rd Test at Ranchi: Change of pace

NEW DELHI : At the JSCA Stadium nets on Friday, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav had short stints, while Ishant Sharma decided to sit out. The Indian team management puts a big emphasis on workload management and recovery of their fast bowlers these days and so, it was an optional training session.

The third Test against South Africa commences here on Saturday and once again India are likely to go with a three-pronged pace attack in Shami, Umesh and Ishant. The pitch will help the fast bowlers initially, but so resourceful is the current crop of Indian quicks that they no longer rely on helpful conditions to make an impact. The ongoing series, which the hosts lead 2-0, has provided further proof of that.

The first two Tests weren’t played on dust bowls. Far from it. The Vizag pitch was good for batting. The deck in Pune had good bounce and also offered movement, at least on the first day. Kagiso Rabada made early inroads for the Saffers as well, but barely had any support from the other end.

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli gestures towards teammate Mohammed Shami during the third day of the second cricket test match between India and South Africa in Pune, India, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

When South Africa batted in Pune, Umesh struck second ball, accounting for Aiden Markram. He removed Dean Elgar a couple of overs later with a delivery that straightened. Umesh was playing his first Test after a gap of 10 months. He wasn’t in the original squad for this Test series and came in as Jasprit Bumrah’s replacement when the latter was ruled out with a minor stress fracture in his lower back.