The ball is getting soft. The pitch is possibly easing out, going back to its avatar of the first two days. There has been a partnership after the first three wickets, Australia can think of safety as lunch approaches... But just then Jasprit Bumrah produces a mad piece of genius, only his second slower ball of the series, a dipping yorker to squeeze under Shaun Marsh's bat to trap him lbw. His Mumbai Indians captain, Rohit Sharma, had a significant role to play in it.
"When I was bowling there, the wicket had become really slow and the ball had become soft," Bumrah said of that last over before lunch. "Nothing much was happening. So, last ball before lunch, Rohit was there at mid-off and he told me, 'You can try a slower ball like you bowl in one-day cricket.' So, I thought, 'Yeah, I could give it go. Nothing is really happening and maybe a slower ball there and some of their guys play with hard hands...' So, I wanted to try that, the execution was good on the day, yeah, really happy."
The plan was two-pronged. A full slower ball, it dips on Shaun Marsh, either beats him or he plays early and lobs a catch to short cover. "I tried to bowl a slower one, a fuller slow ball," Bumrah said. "Maybe it will dip or go to short cover. So that was the plan, and it worked."
The yorker by itself remains an under-rated delivery in Test cricket, not tried often enough against set top-order batsmen. You usually see it employed against the tail or only when the ball is reversing. Who better than a smart fast bowler in Bumrah to explain why?
"It is a little different in Test cricket," Bumrah said. "In white-ball cricket there are only 10 overs. Yorker takes a lot out of your body. After bowling 25 overs it is difficult sometimes to execute the yorkers. It is an under-rated delivery in Test cricket, but I believe you cannot overdo it because it's easier for the batsmen if you get it wrong and easier to score as well. But you can use it in patches and when there is reverse swing it is more effective."
Bumrah has had a great year in Test cricket without having to resort to any fancy deliveries. A year ago, he was not in many people's thoughts when it comes to Test cricket because he had not played any first-class cricket for a year. Now he looks set to end the year with most wickets for an Indian paceman in a calendar year, and with 45 wickets already to his name he looks set to become the fastest Indian quick to 50 wickets. Others might be surprised but he isn't.
"I am not surprised," Bumrah said. "If I say I don't believe in myself, who else will? I just try to back myself in any situation that I get. Yes the start has been good, and I have played in England, South Africa and here. Three different kinds of conditions, yes I have not played a Test in India, but whenever you go to different countries, you have new learnings and experiences from playing in every country. I have had a good start. Let's see how it goes further."