In­dia still con­fi­dent of suc­cess

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - STU­ART HESS

IN­DIA re­main con­fi­dent that they can beat South Africa de­spite los­ing the first Test after putting them­selves in a favourable po­si­tion.

“Your con­fi­dence isn’t dented after one Test match... if your con­fi­dence goes away after one match you don’t de­serve to play. You learn from the mis­takes and you keep mov­ing for­ward,” said Jasprit Bum­rah, who made his Test de­but at New­lands, and fin­ished that match with four wick­ets, in­clud­ing dis­miss­ing AB de Vil­liers in both in­nings.

Bum­rah showed signs of learn­ing in that match, im­prov­ing vastly from the first in­nings to the sec­ond, mainly by short­en­ing his length. He’d con­ceded 73 runs for De Vil­liers’ wicket in the first in­nings – which proved costly ul­ti­mately – and in the sec­ond, in pick­ing up three wick­ets, he went for just 39 runs. .

“We are not fo­cus­ing on the re­sult, be­cause if we do, we lift away too far from our plans,” said Bum­rah.

The In­dian team had their first net ses­sion at Su­perS­port Park yes­ter­day morn­ing, and there is plenty of spec­u­la­tion about the make up of the start­ing team for the sec­ond Test that starts to­mor­row.

In fact Bum­rah, de­spite his ex­cel­lent per­for­mance in the first Test, may find him­self sac­ri­ficed if In­dia aim to strengthen their bat­ting by adding Ajinkya Ra­hane or if Ishant Sharma’s abil­ity to ex­tract ex­tra bounce is deemed a bet­ter op­tion.

“There seems to be a good amount of bounce based on what we saw in the nets,” re­marked Bum­rah. “We were fo­cused on the lengths we wanted to bowl,” he said about their train­ing stint yes­ter­day.

In­dia, de­spite all the pre-se­ries talk about this be­ing their best op­por­tu­nity to win in South Africa, weren’t overly dis­ap­pointed about the loss at New­lands with skip­per Vi­rat Kohli adopt­ing a rea­son­ably philo­soph­i­cal at­ti­tude. It is one Bum­rah ap­pre­ci­ates. “My ba­sic motto is not to get too ex­cited after some suc­cess, or get too down when things are tough… but take the con­fi­dence from the pre­vi­ous match and move for­ward,” he said.

There was enough to please In­dia about their per­for­mance in that first Test, but also sev­eral ar­eas that could be im­proved.

Whether those im­prove­ments will oc­cur as a re­sult of per­son­nel changes, only the next 48 hours will tell. –

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