Few doubted Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to bowl first, on a deck generally suited for the batsmen. But after the end of the first day’s play in Bangalore, all his doubters had to eat the humble pie. Kohli’s decision to send the Proteas in reaped great dividends, as the Indian bowlers once again bossed over the South African batting. For South Africa, their batting was a mere tale of shame. Barring the enigmatic AB De Villiers, none of the South African batsmen showed any proper resistance.
Ashwin struck twice, to dismiss Van Zyl and then Faf, who was dismissed for a duck. Varun Aaron’s delivery to send back the South African captain Hashim Amla was a ripper and a delight for any pacer. De Villiers was the lone warrior for the visitors, as the combo of Ashwin and Jadeja raked misery for them. The pitch surely didn’t have any demons, but it was rather a mixture of good bowling, and great catching that did the job for India.
Replying to South Africa’s 214, the Indian openers finally came to the party, as Shikhar Dhawan and M. Vijay provided the hosts with a solid foundation. By the end of day one, the Indians are 80-0, and will look to bat the South Africans out on the second day.
Below, are the statistical highlights for the day’s play.
1. 6. The number of years since South Africa last played a Test without Dale Steyn.
2. 5th. AB De Villiers became the fifth overseas player to play his 100th Test in India.
3. 27. The number of wickets taken by Indian spinners out of the 30 in this series so far.
4. 157. R. Ashwin’s wicket tally in Test cricket. He has the most Test wickets for a player from Tamil Nadu. Previous highest was S. Venkataraghavan, with 156 wickets.
5. 25.94. Ravindra Jadeja has the best bowling average for an Indian bowler with a minimum of 50 Test wickets.