Day of firsts for young Zubayr Hamza

The Times of India

The Times of India

Author 2019-10-22 01:21:00

imgRANCHI: Zubayr Hamza has dreamy eyes and has every right to dream about a long and successful international career given the way he batted in South Africa's first innings on Monday. But it is tough for a young cricketer to play on an away tour in a team in transition. Hamza felt the pain.

"A day of firsts," he said in a melancholic voice. "First half-century with the national side, so pretty happy with that. But disappointed at the same time to have not gone on to make use of that, and the first time that I've been out twice on the same day."

Since Sunday afternoon when the South African innings started, Hamza was the only batsman who looked comfortable. His 62 off 79 balls in 110 minutes, and his fourth-wicket partnership with Temba Bavuma (32) was the only resistance the Proteas put up over two innings. It was an unplayable delivery that got him in the second essay, while his resistance was ended by a Ravindra Jadeja arm ball in the first. The good thing is, the young man has learnt his lessons.

"I told myself 'just stick to the game plan'. Once you go back to a ball like that (Jadeja's arm ball) and look to play squarer than usual, you're going to find yourself out majority of the time," he revealed. "Having thought what I needed to do but not committing myself hundred per cent to that was a mistake."

Commenting on how Indian pacers could extract more help from the wicket than their pacers throughout the series, Hamza pinpointed the shortcomings, saying, "With the new ball they (Indians) just forced us to play more balls. They bowled attacking lines, they didn't allow us to leave the ball too many times."

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