Indian spinners scalped two South African wickets after the team was bowled out for just 215 on Day 1 of the third Test match against South Africa.
A total of 201 and 200 in Mohali proved enough for India to win by 108 runs. If that’s how Nagpur is moving, then India’ 215 all out – the highest total of the series – is good for another three-day Test on a snake pit.
Kohli had no hesitation in winning the toss and bat first on a dry, cracking track that, according to Sunil Gavaskar, needs some cold cream and will make it impossible to bat in the fourth innings.
For a change, Kohli chose to go in with four bowlers, probably knowing that two pacers will be a luxury and bringing in Amit Mishra should take care of the South Africans – like in the first Test. So apart from including Mishra in place of Stuart Binny, Kohli also dropped Varun Aaron in favour of strengthening the batting with Rohit Sharma. A wise choice on difficult batting track, though Rohit disappointed scoring just 2.
But India’s hopes of putting a total of around 300 didn’t materialize as they folded up for 215, with only Murali Vijay’s 40, Ravindra Jadeja’s 34 and Wriddhiman Saha’s 32 the notable contributors.
In the absence of Dale Steyn, who failed to recover from his groin injury, Simon Harmer (4 for 78) and Morne Morkel (3 for 35) led the Proteas attack appreciably to share seven wickets between them.
Required to face nine overs before stumps on the opening day, South Africa limped to 11 for 2, still trailing India by 204.
Ravichandran Ashwin opened the bowling with Ishant Sharma and got rid of opener Stiaan van Zyl for a duck, with Jadeja joining in the fun from the other end by bowling night-watchman Imran Tahir for 4.
Dean Elgar (7*) and Hashim Amla (0*) were at the crease when the umpires lifted the bails.