Run-outs, Ashwin give India edge against South Africa

Run-outs, Ashwin give India edge against South Africa

For large parts of Saturday (January 13), it looked like South Africa would walk in to stumps with plenty of smiles and wickets intact. However the 42 runs he shared for the eight wicket with Du Plessis, may yet prove crucial in this match. The course of this Test may be determined by which team takes it chances the best and on day one India let far too many opportunities slip away and were at times a little too casual in the field. Ishant Sharma having bowled 22 overs, bowled the most overs among the Indian pacers.

South Africa won the toss and made a decision to bat first.

It was an unnecessary dismissal from a South African perspective and it also sparked the late Proteas wobble, because in the very next over Ashwin had Quinton de Kock caught by Virat Kohli for a first ball duck.

Before that passage of play, it was South Africa all the way.

Hashim Amla made his 82 off 153 balls with 14 fours. More than the wickets, he was the only bowler who kept applying pressure on the Proteas batsmen with his tight line and length.

Coming into the match 1-0 up, South Africa chose to bat first and made an excellent start to their innings as Dean Elgar and Markram amassed an 85-run partnership, during which Markram brought up his fifty, before Elgar was caught by Murali Vijay off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin for 31. It did not take long for them to feel the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was dropped for Ishant Sharma. KL Rahul replaced Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order in an expected move, while Parthiv Patel was handed the wicketkeeping gloves with Kohli informing at the toss that Wriddhiman Saha had a hamstring niggle.

In the first half, India's bowlers found the going tough. It was clearly a lucky wicket for the visitors as Elgar jumped down the track and hit the ball straight at Vijay who somehow managed to hold onto that one after it hit his body.

With a 29th Test ton firmly in his sights, Amla dropped a ball from Hardik Panya onto the leg side and didn't look immediately interested in a run. With Amla set by then and AB de Villiers walking out, there was still no respite for the Indians, and a tea-time score of 182 for 2 in 56 overs spoke of how dominant South Africa had been. It was bowler Mohammed Shami's 100th Test wicket, making him just sixth Indian pace bowler to achieve that landmark, though it must be noted that his strike rate was better than anyone else, who's done so for that country.

The all-rounder then completed the routine task of dislodging the bails to run out Philander after the South Africa seamer's brain-fade had left him and Du Plessis at the same end.