India certainly had a new year stinker at the first Test against South Africa the team faced its first defeat in a first Test of a series after more than a year. The team has been through a long stretch of unbeaten series in the unlimited format. Although most of the team’s victories was under home or Asian condition, its stature in international campaigns went on unchallenged as well. However, against South Africa, on this year’s first tussle, the team will be through pressure losing the first leg of the campaign.
In the match, South Africa scored 286 and 130 in its inning, while India remained marginally lagging at 209 and 135, losing the match by 72. The home team propelled in-swinger deliveries coming up as devastating blows to India’s batting line-up. Throughout the match, condition favored the bowlers. This was picked by attackers from both the squads. South Africa played with fast option like Dale Steyn, but the likes Vernon Philander had a better impact. In second inning, Kagiso Rabada and Philander nicked three wickets each, while Style and Morne Morkel got two each.
India bowlers, on the other hand, attacked with seam options, spin options remaining marginal. Bhuvneshwar Kumar took down four wickets in the first inning, Ashwin’s tally was two. In the second inning, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami made good inroads into the inning taking down two wickets each. Hardik Pandya and Kumar finished with two wickets each in the inning. India might have lost, but the test debut of Jasprit Bumrah was impressive.
In Day 1, India’s attack in the beginning was hefty, making the home team slogged at 3 for 12 in five overs. However, the celebration finally thumbed down with the middle order partnerships between AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis, both plundered half-centuries in the inning. India’s reply was wobbly. Had it not been Hardik Pandya knocking 93 at the lower middle order, India could have faced a stronger crushing. The second innings of both the teams were dominated holistically by bowlers.