South Africa spinner George Linde Sunday said he learnt lessons during India’s 497/9 declared as he claimed four wickets on debut in the third Test being played in Ranchi.
Linde returned figures of 4/133 with his left-arm spin, providing some support to paceman Kagiso Rabada who had put the hosts in early trouble at 39/3 on day one.
The 27-year-old, who was part of the touring South Africa A side to India last month, was alled up to replace the injured Keshav Maharaj.
Linde has impressed for his domestic team Cape Cobras with 160 wickets in first-class cricket to date, at an eye-catching average of 24.05, as well as scoring 1497 runs at 25.81.
But it’s been a hard toil for Linde, who said he was a bit nervous to make his debut at such a short notice.
“I didn’t expect to play Test cricket. So when I got the call-up I was quite nervous but luckily I had a few days to just settle,” the Cape Town-born Linde told reporters. “Today few lessons learnt, especially at the end. But I will take four wickets on a debut.”
Rohit Sharma, who made 212 – his maiden Test double ton, and Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 115, put on 267 for the fourth wicket before Linde broke through.
Linde got Rahane caught behind in the morning session and then hurt the middle order with the wickets of Wriddhiman Saha, for 24, and Ravindra Jadeja, for 51.
“Obviously consistency is very important (in India),” said Linde. “We got it wrong on the leg side yesterday, today I was lot better, bit more on the off side.”
Linde nearly got Sharma on 28 but Zubayr Hamza dropped a tough chance at forward short-leg and the bowler was not complaining.
“Those catches, they stick or they don’t. So unfortunately it wasn’t our way, it was Rohit’s,” said Linde. “He played well, so well done to him.”
South Africa were nine for two at close on another shortened day due to bad weather, but Linde said the team is up for the challenge come Monday.
“Obviously, it was a bad start. It’s not the way we wanted it to go but tomorrow is another day. We were positive. Guys were smiling in the dressing room, so we are ready for [Monday]. We are not going to sit back and relax, we are going to go forward and try to take the challenge on,” he said.