India’s 72-run loss to South Africa in first test of the Freedom series was a tough pill to swallow for Virat Kohli and his boys.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave India the perfect start on the opening day, as he got rid of the top three South African batsmen in less than half an hour. But then the genius called AB de Villiers and the always dependable Faf du Plessis put on a wonderful stand, to tilt the game back into South Africa’s favour.
The South African tail also contributed massively, as the likes of Philander and Rabada put on some crucial runs to boost the total to 286. In reply, India lost three quick wickets, as Vijay, Dhawan and the captain Kohli all departed the scene before the end of day one.
The second day was all about Hardik Pandya, as the all-rounder almost single handedly brought India back into the test match. His brilliant 93 with the bat, took India to 209, and his two wickets in the final session had given India hope.
The third day was completely washed out due to rain, which livened up the pitch to a great extent. India needed it’s bowlers to step up to the plate on the fourth morning if they wanted to have any chance of winning the match.
And they did just that, as South Africa were knocked over for just 130 in the second innings. With a target of 208 to chase, India needed to keep their head and build partnerships, as that was going to be their key to victory.
But Vernon Philander was in an inspired mood, as he picked up six wickets to win South Africa the test match. While the Indian batters failed to apply themselves, the bowlers bowled beautifully and used the conditions to their advantage.
For the first time in history, four Indian pacers took at least three wickets in the same Test. This is also the first time where four pacers took a wicket in both the innings of a Test for India.
With the bowling attack looking really good, let’s hope that batsmen get their act together in Durban.