Former India opener turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra feels that the final Test between India and South Africa is balanced and the third day’s play will determine the fate as well. Team India bundled out the Proteas for 210 runs in their first innings after they were got out for 223 on the first day. India are 57/2 in their second innings as well.
While reflecting on the second day’s play in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said: “Bumrah has taken five wickets but is India still ahead? They have lost two wickets, Pujara is there with Kohli at the crease. The match is hanging in the balance, it is on a knife’s edge, today’s play will tell us which side it will swing.”
He continued: “India got a slender lead, not a big one. Shami took two wickets in an over and India came back into the game after that. Umesh Yadav – he gets an opportunity with difficulty, he performed well. Shardul Thakur eventually got a wicket as well.”
Meanwhile, India speedster Mohammed Shami had dismissed Temba Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne within three deliveries when South Africa were comfortably scoring 159/4. Jasprit Bumrah then picked up three of the four remaining wickets and register another five-wicket haul.
Aakash Chopra again explained: “Keegan Petersen has impressed a lot. We are getting to understand that bowling has been good but the batting standard has looked very ordinary in the entire Test series. The ball was moving a little on the Cape Town pitch but that is going to happen, it is South Africa and not Kanpur.”
“India have also lost both their openers. Mayank Agarwal is looking a little loose in his technique. KL Rahul – a rare twin failure. Kohli and Pujara are both looking good. But it’s going to be extremely difficult, I feel India will find themselves slightly in the ascendancy if they reach till 200,” Aakash Chopra further shared.
Meanwhile, he also praised Jasprit Bumrah for his five-wicket haul. Aakash Chopra also opined on the fact that Jasprit Bumrah picked up wickets at regular intervals which left them struggled in the middle.
The veteran said: “You need to put in a lot of effort to take a five-wicket haul. This five-wicket haul showed that Jassi jaisa koi nahin hai. When he is in his rhythm, I mean when he bowling at his full tilt, it’s a delight to watch. Jasprit Bumrah was looking a little off-color in this entire series. There was even an article that there has been a fall in his effectiveness since his injury. The standards are still very high, it is not that he has become half a bowler but the numbers were becoming slightly ordinary as per the standards he had set.”
“He had already taken a wicket, he had dismissed Dean Elgar. Aiden Markram left a delivery right at the start and Bumrah showed that he owns the place. He kept on picking wickets regularly, he took important wickets, he eventually dismissed the well-set Keegan Petersen. This series has gone in the fast bowlers’ names – whether it is Rabada, Shami, Shardul Thakur, Ngidi, Marco Jansen or Boom Boom. It’s been absolutely sensational. So my player of the match for the second day’s play has to be Boom Boom Bumrah,” Aakash Chopra concluded.