Another test match in India, and probably another three-days finish on the cards. It would be absolutely safe to assume that this test, like the one in Mohali, will conclude within the first three days of the match. After all, the wicket at Nagpur was just like a nightmare for the batsmen. It seemed that the batsmen were batting on already deteriorated wickets.
Virat Kohli on winning the toss had no hesitation in batting first, but his batsmen let him down to a certain degree. 215 would surely not be the score which Kohli would have wanted from his batsmen at the toss. Shikhar Dhawan failed yet again and was dismissed softly by part-timer Dean Elger. Vijay looked elegant for his 40 before he got a peach from Morne Morkel and he was on his way back.
The second session witnessed an enthralling spell of reverse swing bowling from Morne Morkel, as the tall pacer exploited the demons within the track. Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma endured failures as they had no clue about the nature of the pitch. The hosts were once again rescued by Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja, who played very well.
After being bowled out for 215, it was imperative for India to make early inroads. That is what they exactly did, as Ashwin sent back a clueless Van Zyl. Soon, nightwatchman Imran Tahir was castled by Jadeja. South Africa ended Day one on 11-2, still trailing by more than 200 runs.
Below, are the statistical highlights for the first day’s play.
1. 12. The number of away test matches, after which Rohit Sharma is finally playing in India. The 12 tests include tours of South Africa, New Zealand, England, Australia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
2. 250. Simon Harmer’s first class wickets tally.
3. 54. The number of wickets taken so far by R. Ashwin with the new ball.
4. 20+. The number of deliveries faced by India’s top 9 batsmen.
5. 7.6. Ajinkya Rahane’s batting average at home.