Muthusamy delighted with special Test debut against country of origin
Visakhapatnam: It was a tough initiation to Test cricket for Senuran Muthusamy, 25, the all-rounder with his roots in India but who is otherwise 'firmly South African', as he put it. Muthusamy's stronger suit is his batting — he has seven hundreds and an average of 32.72 from 69 first-class games — but what formalised his Test debut was that he can also bowl more than handy left-arm spin. Muthusamy sent down just five overs, going for 23, but watched from close quarters as Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma schooled South Africa on Day One of the first Test yesterday.
Welcome to Test cricket
"There is reason why it is called Test cricket," he philosophised. "It is tough; of course, some of the world's best players are playing in the opposition. I learned from my first day that you need to compete every ball, not just in bowling but from a batting perspective as well, you just need to hang in there. You need to plug away and thereby try to take control," he added.
With the pitch perhaps at its best for batting on the opening day, India reached 202 without loss when the elements forced an early closure. Muthusamy isn't unaware that South Africa's batting will be severely tested by R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as the match unravels. "The wicket is going to spin a little more as the game goes on, there are a few more days. We know the wicket was really, really dry and dusty. I am sure it is going to deteriorate," acknowledged Muthusamy, who has had decent exposure to Indian conditions over the last two years when he has come over with the South Africa 'A' side.
'Wicket will deteriorate'
"It is going to deteriorate like any wicket in the sub-continent. From a left-hander's perspective, that's just a part of the game. It is a terrific challenge to cover the rough [from the bowlers' footmarks]." Happy to be making his Test debut in the land of his forefathers, Muthusamy left no one in any doubt about where his loyalties lay. "It is obviously great playing cricket in India and it is about learning, getting to know the culture and all. Of course, it is very special [debuting in India]. My forefathers are from the south of India, Tamil Nadu. I am firmly South African, a few generations down the line. But yes, no getting away from that [the Indian heritage]."
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