Why Bumrah is a such a big loss for India ahead of next week's test series against SA

25 September 2019 - 15:53 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
Jasprit Bumrah was looking forward to playing his first Test on Indian soil until injury ruled him out of the three-match series.
Jasprit Bumrah was looking forward to playing his first Test on Indian soil until injury ruled him out of the three-match series.
Image: Getty Images

None of Jasprit Bumrah's 12 Tests have been played in India and with a lower back stress fracture that's ruled him out of the forthcoming three-Test series against visitors South Africa‚ he'll have to wait a bit longer to play in a home Test.

The low and slow nature of India's surfaces mean that Bumrah has not been required for home matches.

Since his Test debut against South Africa in Cape Town early last year‚ Bumrah hasn't been needed to play at home.

Virat Kohli's team played the bulk of their cricket in South Africa‚ England and Australia last year where the 25-year-old paceman came into his own as a skilled and intelligent fast bowler.

Tricky action and all‚ he's asked questions of all and sundry in the venues in which they've played‚ all of them away from home.

South Africa and their new batting line-up would have been a perfect test for Bumrah.

Bumrah became the third Indian bowler after Harbhajan Singh (2001 v Australia) and Irfan Pathan (2006 v Pakistan) to take a Test hat-trick when he pulled off the feat against the West Indies in Jamaica last month.

The only Test India played at home last year was against Afghanistan.

India lost the two Tests they played away from home in last year's five-match series against England.

While the other fast bowlers held up the fort well‚ when he returned for the third test‚ India won the game comfortably before proceeding to lose the last two matches.

Bumrah didn't miss a Test when India travelled to Down Under at the end of last year and it didn't come as a surprise that the visitors won their first-ever series in Australia.

Such is the all-round strength of India's bowling attack under captain Kohli that they actually don't have to prepare the spin-friendly wickets that helped them win the 2015 series against South Africa.

Spin-friendly surfaces were served in the first and third Tests in Mohali and Nagpur where South Africa were well beaten.

The second Test in Bengaluru was washed out while India won the fourth Test in Delhi on what was a normal pitch.

Bumrah‚ who has taken 62 wickets in his 12 Tests and 14 in the 2018 series against South Africa‚ has been replaced by the equally fast‚ but lesser skilled Umesh Yadav.

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