Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 5 (ANI): India pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah on Friday said that sweat sometimes does not help in shining the cricket ball to generate reverse swing in the longest format of the game.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) last year announced a temporary ban on applying saliva to the ball as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus. With this, sweat was looked at as an alternative to shine the ball but Bumrah feels it doesn't serve the purpose every time.
"When the wicket is flat so due to new COVID rules there are limited options to shine the ball. So in India the ball gest rough and to make the ball reverse swing, you have to make one side heavy. Sometimes sweat doesn't really severe the purpose," Bumrah told the media during the virtual press conference at the end of the first-day action at MA Chidambaram Stadium.
"You can't make one side heavy with sweat and it doesn't really work that way. We have to go with new rules of the game right now," he added.
Bumrah admitted that the ball had become soft and the pitch was flat which left bowlers with limited options to shine the ball as saliva has been banned after new COVID rules
"The ball did become soft and the wicket was on the flatter side and the bounce is less. So you are left with limited options and it becomes difficult and the ball doesn't shine as we can't use saliva due to the new COVID rules It becomes difficult during those times to maintain the ball," said Bumrah.
Meanwhile, Joe Root and Dom Sibley put England in control in the first Test, forming a stunning 200-run partnership on the opening day. At stumps, England's score read 263/3, with Root playing on 128 runs. However, India ended the day on a high as Bumrah dismissed Sibley (87) in the 90th over.
Opting to bat first, Sibley and Rory Burns provided England with a good start. India did have a very good opportunity to send Burns back to the pavilion cheaply but the wicket-keeper, Rishabh Pant, dropped the catch off Bumrah's first delivery of the second over.
The duo then played cautiously to avoid any hiccups in the initial overs, taking the team over the 50-run mark. Ravichandran Ashwin handed India the first breakthrough as he got hold of Burns (33) in the 24th over. Dan Lawrence (0) then came out to bat but failed to impress as he was given LBW off Bumrah's delivery in the 26th over, bringing Root on the field.
Root, along with Sibley, steadied England's innings and played some fine shots. Both kept the scoreboard ticking and took the team to the 100-run mark in the 44th over. Root and Sibley kept on building their partnership while Indian bowlers struggled to get a breakthrough.
While Root and Sibley avoided risky shots, they never missed the opportunity to score a boundary on loose balls. Bumrah gave India the much-needed breakthrough after he dismissed Sibley in the 90th over. (ANI)