India v South Africa: Five turning points of the 1st day of the Mohali Test 

A part-time left-arm spinner Dean Elgar, who has been selected in the team as an opening batsman, spins India out on the first day of the first Test of four match Gandhi-Mandela series between India and South Africa at PCA Stadium, Mohali. Elgar’s four-wicket haul helped South Africa to topple India with one remaining in the day. India scored 201 as opener Murali Vijay scored 75 and comeback man Ravindra Jadeja scored 38. 

But, when South Africa came to commence their innings Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets to restore the parity of the day. South African Opener Dean Elgar and captain Hashim Amla have ended the day with  28 for 2.

Here are five turning points of the match

1)Winning the toss choose to bat first

Virat Kohli’s decision to bat first helped South African to take the advantage from the beginning of the match. Hashim Amla did not bring prime spinner Imran Tahir in the action as left arm spinner and off-spinner Simon Harmer kept the pressure on India from the both sides. Elgar got good assistance from the pitch, which was turning from the first session of the morning.

So, if India with three specialist spinners decided to bowl first could wreck havoc on South African batting department and that could earn India an advantage in the match. The things could be easy for India but as India set a paltry first innings total on board, first innings lead unlikely to come.

2) Resistance from Murali Vijay and Ravindra Jadeja

At a time when India’s ship was shrinking in the middle of the day Murali Vijay and comeback man Ravindra Jadeja built a 38 run partnership. Vijay scored 75 while Jadeja made 38. Vijay played the role of anchor. Though he failed to carried his bat till the India’s innings end. Jadeja’s 38 helped India to put 200 on board as after his departure India’s last two wickets have added none to the innings.

3) Dean Elgar surprise package

Two days before the Test series Dale Steyn has said that they have clear plans for Indian players. So, when started their innings Hashim Amla surprised everyone by bringing part-time Dean Elgar in the action instead of Imran Tahir. Elgar along with specialist off-spinner Simon Harmer did a remarkable job. Harmer has gotten the wicket of Vijay, who looked solid at the crease until he was trapped lbw by Harmer for 75, the highest score of the day. Uncertainties of Elgar’s spin troubled India the most. Some of his deliveries were taking a huge turn while others were going straight.

Vijay and Rahane, who came at the crease after Virat Kohli departure, were proven good against spin. Tahir has been played well by Rahane in the ODI series. And India have a plan to outclass Tahir, as senior cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly urged India to be careful about the leggie. So, Amla’s gamble with Elgar ticked.  

 

4) Wriddhiman Saha, a saga of failures

India’s batting department terribly missing a wicket batsman like MS Dhoni. The current Bengal Ranji wicketkeeper Saha has tried and tested, but he succeeded fewer times and paid back selectors nothing but frustration. When inform batsman Rohit Sharma was asked to play for his Ranji team as Virat Kohli decided to play Cheteshwar Pujara in the six batsmen and five bowlers system. But, Wriddhiman’s batting in Test career is filled with erratic shot selections and irresponsibility. So, when India have KL Rahul in the squad who can bat and a tested as a wicketkeeper, so India could play him in the team and pick Rohit Sharma in the team to strengthen the batting line-up against South Africa’s formidable bowling line up.

5)Late wickets  gave India a hope

A day of which South Africa won the two sessions and gave willy-nilly India a lesson. But, when Indian spin trio-Ashwin, Jadeja and Mishra-were brought in action by captain Virat Kohli India’s dashed hope has started drifting. Ravichandran Ashwin gave India an early breakthrough as he trapped opener Stiaan Van Zyl lbw in the 7th over. Jadeja foxed Faf du Plessis with flight and broke the off stump of South Africa’s T20 captain in the ninth over.

Nevertheless, two early wickets has shaken South Africa a little bit while India ended the day positively. However, South Africa have won the first session of the day as India for the first time in the last seven years were all out by an opponent on the first day of the game.