India has turned their fortune in the “Freedom Series” after a 0-2 Twenty 20 and 2-3 ODI series loss. Now Virat Kohli led India have won their first Test at home and taken a 1-0 lead over South Africa, who have not lost any Test series since 2006 on foreign soil. So, on a whirling wicket at Mohali Indian spinners earned a Test victory within three days. Virat Kohli earlier has said that bowlers would win him a Test match, so he decided to stick with five bowlers formula. His idea is successful, as batsmen from both sides failed to score a hundred while two Indian spinners have taken fifers.
Meanwhile, when South African batsmen failed to drag the Test on a fourth day, New Zealand defied an Australia from an innings victory. At Gabba, Brisbane four batsmen have scored brilliant centuries. And their tempo of scoring runs was not different from limited over cricket. New Zealand pacer Trent Boult has conceded 61 runs in 8 overs. Australia in their second innings ended the third day 264 for 4 in 42 overs.
So, from two different ends of the world, Sportzwiki is adjudging the top five performers of the day:
1) Cheteshwar Pujara
Pujara’s valuable 77 runs innings was crucial to India 217 run lead over South Africa. When he was batting everything was seeming super fine for India. But, as his 66 runs partnership with Kohli was broken by an unknown component of Stiaan Can Zyl spin India’s middle order and tail were exposed to Simon Harmer and Imran Tahir. Both spinners had some fun on the deteriorating Mohali wicket. Harmer and Tahir shared four wickets each to cleaned up India’s last 6 wickets in 36 runs. So, Pujara’s innings was an important one getting a 217 run lead.
2) Kane Williamson 140
On a bouncy pitch at Gabba, Brisbane where Australian bowlers wrecked havoc on entire New Zealand contingent this exciting 25-year talent have displayed a magnum opus. His solo show has defied Australia from forcing New Zealand to follow on. Though Australia gets 239 runs first innings lead. Williamson’s 178 balls 140 runs, which comprised of 24 boundaries helped New Zealand to score 317, has drawn praise. The right-handed batsman when finally edged behind the wicket off Mitchell Starc the entire Gabba joined their hands to give him a standing ovation while Australian fielders showed a sportsmanship as they shook hands and congratulated him for his beautiful innings. He could score more if he found a partner.
The Australian pacers were lethal which helped Australia to a first innings 239 lead over New Zealand. When all New Zealand batsmen failed to cope with bouncy Gabba pitch Kane Williamson batted with ease. Micthell Johnson has taken three wickets but, he was battered by Williamson. Johnson conceded 105 runs in 21. The economy rate was 5 run per over. But, at the same time Starc was unplayable for New Zealand batsmen. He conceded 57 runs in 17 overs. His victims were Tom Latham, James Neesham, Tim Southee and Kane Williamson.
4) Joe Burns
This right-handed batsman scored a 102 ball hundred in the Gabba Test. It was Bruns’ maiden Test hundred. Australia was probably in a hurry to win the Test. Within three days they all out New Zealand and got a 503 runs lead. They are now in the driving seat. Victory is just a few seasons away. In the second innings, a blitzkrieg hitting from opener Joe Bruns and David Warner was on display of classic One Day cricket match. His hundred helped Australia to score 264 for 4 in 42 overs. None of the New Zealand conceded less than 5 runs per over. His opening partner David Warner hit another hundred in the match. Warner has played a brilliant 164 run knock in the first innings. So it was his 14th Test hundred.
5) Ravindra Jadeja
The Indian laft-arm spinner is the man of the day. He was dropped from the team after the Australia Test series. But, he has taken a couple of fifers in domestic cricket. So, the BCCI’s selectors were forced to call him back in the Test team. He continued his devastating form. In the first innings, he took three wickets, while in the second innings he has registered his third five-wicket haul Test cricket. It was a stunning comeback indeed. Jadeja’s victims were Vernon Philander, Hashim Amla, Dane Vilas, Simon Harmer, and Imran Tahir.
His arm ball that bamboozled South Africa captain is a topic of the discussion as Amla refused to offer a stroke, instead he lifted his bat, as a result, the ball struck the middle stump. Simon Harmer’s wicket was an important one as the South African has built a 40 runs partnership with Van Zyl. However, when he trapped Imran Tahir LBW he was drifting in the air virtually as he completed his five-wicket haul and that eventually completed India’s 108 runs victory over the visitor.