Pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who was playing his Test first at home here on Friday, said it was tough to bowl on flat pitches like that of MA Chidambaram Stadium under the new Covid-19 rules that bar the use of saliva to work on the ball.
“Over here, the ball did become soft after a while and when the wicket is on the flatter side and the bounce is less, you are left with limited options. You are trying to figure out what you can do with limited things (options) on hand. Yes, it is limited — when the ball becomes soft and doesn’t shine really well — because of the new Covid rules that says we can’t use saliva. So, it is very difficult during that time to maintain the ball,” Bumrah, 27, told the media on Thursday.
The India bowlers struggled to get wickets as England ended the first day at 263 for three. Bumrah picked two of those wickets (2/40 in 18.3 overs), including one in the last over of the day. Both his dismissals were leg-before-wicket decisions and it seemed the ball had come into the batsmen.
“When the wicket is on the flatter side — because of new Covid rules — there are very limited options to shine the ball. In the India the ball gets scuffed up. To make the ball reverse you have to make one side heavy. Sometimes with the sweat it doesn’t really serve the purpose. You can’t make one side heavy. But this is the rule of the game right now. We have to make do with what we have,” he said, explaining the challenge of bowling on flat tracks under current circumstances.
Bumrah, who had played all his previous 17 Test matches overseas and taken 79 wickets, called his home Test debut interesting.
“This is my first match. So, here it was on the flatter side. Not a lot of lateral movement there. The ball got scuffed up as the wicket was hard and dry. It was interesting first match for me here. We are are not trying to complain how the wicket is. We are trying to figure out the options and how do we solve it. We are looking at the options at hand and try to create chances and try to make as many chances as we can,” he said.