New Delhi: South Africa rode on a disciplined bowling effort to skittle out India for a paltry 187 in their first innings on the opening day of the third and final cricket Test at the New Wanderers Stadium. At stumps, the hosts themselves lost the wicket of opener Aiden Markram who was Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s victim. Also Read - Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Suresh Raina, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Efforts Go in Vain as Punjab Beat Uttar Pradesh by 11 Runs
The South African pacers came on top of the visitors on this seamer-friendly wicket. The bowlers troubled the Indian batsmen right from the outset as they sent back Lokesh Rahul (0) and Murali Vijay (8) in quick succession. Also Read - Kagiso Rabada Returns as CSA Announces 21-Member Squad For Pakistan Tests
Rahul faced a near-unplayable spell from Philander and should have gone first ball, but somehow managed to survive. Six balls later though, he got an inside-edge off the same bowler and was caught behind. Also Read - Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Priyam Garg to Lead Uttar Pradesh; Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Suresh Raina Included in Squad
India were reduced to 13 for two as Vijay was also caught behind off Rabada in the ninth over. The opener played away from his body, outside the off-stump, without any real footwork and this was a fourth time in five innings on this tour that he was dismissed in such fashion.
A half-century by Virat Kohli (54) and a patient defensive fifty by Cheteshwar Pujara (50) helped India withstand a fast bowling barrage on the first day. The duo came together and resisted the South African bowling through a testing passage of play. They stayed together for 110 balls, despite being beaten and getting three lives between them. Apart from Pujara and Kohli, Bhuvneshwar (30) was the only batsman to reach double digits.
The last six wickets of Indian team fell for just 43 runs. The Proteas were uncharacteristically sloppy on the field and dropped many chances, but Indian batsmen could not make these chances into something substantial.
For the Proteas, it was a collective effort from the likes of Morne Morkel (2/47), Vernon Philander (2/31), Kagiso Rabada (3/39), Lungisani Ngidi (1/27) and Andile Phehlukwayo (2/25).
(With agencies inputs)