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Proteas Trail by 173 Runs after Indian Innings Come to an End at 201

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Proteas Trail by 173 Runs after Indian Innings Come to an End at 201

November 06
09:00 2015

india testNew Delhi, Friday, November 6 – When both India vs. South Africa arrived on the crease to play in the Game 1 of 4-match Test series Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali, motto was to make best use of everything. Several cracks, dry and grassless pitch of Mohali seemed to hide a lot of surprises for Indian camp and Proteas. And, changing moods were apparent as the match progressed further.

When Virat Kohli, who turned 27 on Thursday, won the toss and decided to bat first, the audience thought it a right decision. Taking into consideration previous record of the India on this ground, they registered a couple of wins while batting first and tasted victory four times while batting second.

Hopes were high from the opening duo Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan as viewers wished them to see strong and given home side an ideal start. Test debut of Dhawan, who played a beautiful knock of 187 runs off 174 balls, was yet fresh in mind. But before he could have recreated the same magic, the left-handed batsman was out by Vernon Philander for a duck.

South African captain Hashim Amla pouched the ball, helping his team enjoy such an unexpected and early breakthrough. Dhawan was left with no option but to go back to the pavilion, thinking about whether he should have tried leaving the delivery, which got a slight edge of his bat. Vijay, on the other hand, was determined and kept the calm. Given that he played balls by opponents without being scared of change in pace, the opener scored 75 runs off 136 balls. Best part to watch his innings was 12 boundaries that were struck in different corners of the ground.

Cheteshwar Pujara, gave him desired support. Despite the fact that his stint wasn’t long, he sent the ball into the fences 6 times. When batting at a score of 31 runs, he got his legs before wickets in Dean Elgar’s over. Birthday boy Kohli was stunned by Kagiso Rabada, who dismissed him at a score of 1. Wicket of Delhi born boy was huge for South Africa knowing his capability to emerge strong in difficult situations.

India certainly felt the pressure losing three big wickets when just 65 runs were put on the scoreboard. Ajinkya Rahane was caught by Hashim Amla when Dean Elgar was on attack. He scored 15 runs off 48 balls (4 x 2). Wriddhiman Saha lost his wicket to same combination at a zero. Nil contribution from the wicketkeeper-batsman brought India on the verge of quick collapse. Ravindra Jadeja and Vijay tried their best to add as much as runs possible. However, before the 31-year-old would have moved towards scoring a ton, a delivery by Simon Harmer trapped him and the batsman was given lbw.

Contribution of runs from tail-enders wasn’t substantial. Amit Mishra was caught by Dale Steyn the moment Dean Elgar picked the ball to bowl his spell. The right-arm leg-break bowler who bats right-handed scored 6 runs off 8 balls, including a boundary. Jadeja was next to depart after him. Vernon Philander got his wicket at a time when his presence could have made a difference to a certain extent.  The middle-order batsman pocketed 38 runs off 92 balls, inclusive of 4 fours.

Umesh Yadav, who has the potential to bat and add some significant runs in team’s total, was dismissed by Imran Tahir at 5 runs. He struck a boundary. But the fort wasn’t held by him. Varun Aaron was the last man to depart and India winded up at 201 runs after Imran Tahir took his wicket.  Ravichandran Ashwin eyed some partnership what he didn’t get. He was not out at 20 runs. India’s first innings came to an end in 68 overs which wasn’t acceptable at a time when a team plays for pride. The India skipper showed faith in combination of six batsmen and five bowlers, probably keeping in mind that substantial contribution can be obtained when required.

Dale Steyn, who started the match by bowling a maiden over, did not get any wicket. Dean Elgar’s 4-wicket haul was certainly impressive. The 30-year-old Philander picked two wickets, whereas Simon Harmer and Rabada got 1 wicket apiece.  Responsibility on Indian players increased all of a sudden thanks to batting collapse. Kohli-led side probably knew this very well and this may be the reason why two quick wickets were picked, letting Proteas feel the heat as well. Stiaan van Zyl was lbw by Ravichandran Ashwin at a score of 5, inclusive of a four. Jadeja gave India a big wicket of Faf du Plessis at a zero. Dean Elgar will resume batting at 13 runs and Hashim Amla at 9 runs in Day 2 of first Test. Just an extra was bowled by India.

Those who are yet to bat are AB de Villiers, Dane Vilas, Philander, Simon Harmer, Dale Steyn, Test debutant Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir. India eye eight wickets in a short span of time so that problem shouldn’t increase in their 2nd innings. Viewers are keen to see whether young Indian team emerge as a threat for the challengers, who thrashed them in both ODI and T20 matches played last month, or not. South Africa on their tour of India performed exceptionally well. Weather may not be warm today too. It is interesting to notice whether pitch show some different moods to the opponents or not. Play of the second day is important in several regards for the reason that it is to make clear which team gives its best and capitalizes opportunities that came in way to show their skills to bat, bowl and field.

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