Elgar and De Kock inspire spirited South Africa fightback against India

By Sports Desk October 04, 2019

Dean Elgar's first century against India helped South Africa mount a spirited fightback at Visakhapatnam, but the Proteas still have work to do after finishing day three of the first Test on 385-8, 117 runs behind.

After India had declared on 502-7 the day before, Elgar (160) and Quinton de Kock (111) were in inspired form, leading South Africa through several moments when it looked as though the hosts' attack was getting on top.

Elgar did offer a chance to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha on 74, but he escaped and went on to take full advantage, playing the spinners with skill and application as he secured his 12th Test hundred before eventually becoming Ravindra Jadeja's 200th Test victim.

De Kock also caught the eye, while the 55-run contribution from captain Faf du Plessis was applaudable, though India still find themselves in control ahead of day four, with the knocks from Mayank Agarwal (215) and Rohit Sharma (176) on Tuesday proving vital.

The tourists were soon reduced to 63-4 after resuming in deep trouble on 39-3, Ishant Sharma trapping Temba Bavuma in front for 18, but a stand of 115 between Elgar and Du Plessis frustrated India.

Elgar clattered Jadeja for two sixes in an over and was given a life when he edged the same bowler behind but Saha was unable to cling on and the Proteas recovered to 153-4 at lunch.

Du Plessis continued to play positively, dancing down the track to hit Ravichandran Ashwin down the ground for six and the captain had his half-century early in the afternoon session.

He failed to go on, though, and his assertive knock ended tamely when he was taken by Cheteshwar Pujara at leg slip off Ashwin. 

Elgar continued to play the spinners with authority and the left-hander brought up a hard-earned hundred in style by slog-sweeping Ashwin for a fourth six of his outstanding innings.

De Kock adopted his usual aggressive approach, showing great timing with classy drives as the runs flowed and the wicketkeeper-batsman raced to 50 in 79 balls. 

Elgar took two boundaries off a Jadeja over to move on to 150, but the opener finally fell out of the blue, departing to a standing ovation after Pujara held on running in from square leg to allow Jadeja to reach his milestone.

Ajinkya Rahane failed to take a difficult chance to remove Senuran Muthusamy without scoring and De Kock took the same approach as Elgar to move to three figures, dispatching Ashwin for a big six.

De Kock's resistance eventually failed on 111, however, Ashwin sending a wicked delivery through the gate and he then claimed Vernon Philander for a duck from the final wicket of the day.

Related items

  • Stead on Archer threat: Black Caps have speed with Ferguson Stead on Archer threat: Black Caps have speed with Ferguson

    Gary Stead says New Zealand have the pace attack to "fight fire with fire" in the Test series against England.

    The Black Caps and Joe Root's side start the two-match series at Mount Maunganui on Thursday following a 3-2 T20I triumph for the tourists.

    Jofra Archer did not play in that series but was not holding back in two tour matches in Whangarei ahead of the Test leg of the trip, but head coach Stead feels uncapped fast bowler Lockie Ferguson can add another dimension to New Zealand's attack.

    "Jofra Archer will be a threat. He is a point of difference. But he can only bowl from one end," Stead said.

    "And we've someone in our squad who bowls at a similar type of speed in Lockie Ferguson. It's really exciting to be able to fight fire with fire in some ways.

    "And it's exciting that there's a potential debut for him at some stage as well. I think it's really good in terms of the balance of the squad that we have five pace bowlers who all offer us slightly different things.

    "He added: "England are a fine Test team. They've got some real world-class players. We'll have to be somewhere near the top of our game throughout the whole series.

    "We just want to be as competitive as we can, take the games deep and hopefully if we do that then you get on the right side of some of the results when you get to the back end of games.

    "It sounds like Archer bowled fast in Whangarei. Every time he's bowled, he's bowled with heat so I don't think that's a big surprise to anyone. He's a world-class player and he started in the Ashes with a real hiss and a roar.

    "For us it's about getting used to that extra pace and then combating it and working out a way you can continue to score."

  • Pacemen must target Smith's blind spot - Misbah Pacemen must target Smith's blind spot - Misbah

    Misbah-ul-Haq says Pakistan's pace attack must hit Steve Smith's "blind spot" if they are to prevent Australia's "batting genius" from piling on the runs in the two-match Test series.

    Smith averaged an astonishing 110.57 in a drawn Ashes series in England on his return to the Test stage after serving a one-year ban for his part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

    The former captain will be the prized scalp for Pakistan when they attempt to secure a first series win in Australia in the longest format.

    Misbah wants to see his formidable fast bowlers frustrate the top-ranked Test batsman in the world when the series gets under way at the Gabba on Thursday.

    The Pakistan head coach said: "As far as Steve Smith goes, there's a blind spot for every top batsman in the world; as a bowler you're always interested in pitching the ball there.

    "It's important that we bowl with consistency there. Our bowlers are executing the plans very well right now, and hopefully we'll be able to build that kind of a pressure and stay disciplined, especially early in the innings.

    "No matter how good a batsman is batting, it's about consistency and bowling the maximum balls in those areas that build pressure and the batsman respects you, and you force him to make a mistake.

    "All the batsmen you talk to, any batsman in the world, that's the area where you have to defend a ball, and that is a six-to-eight-metre spot where you have to play the top of off stump.

    "That's the area from where if it's happening then that creates a great chance. Even if it's not happening, you have less chances to do anything with the ball.

    "It's about consistency, and top players in the world, if you miss those areas, that special length and line, then they are good enough to just cash in on that.

    "You have to be very, very disciplined, just keep the ball there, and if it's happening you are already in the game."

    The former Pakistan captain added:  "The kind of form he is in, there's no doubt Steve Smith is a batting genius. We will try our best to execute our plans and dismiss him."


    Key Opta facts

    - Pakistan have lost their last two multi-game bilateral Test series, they have not lost more consecutive series in the format since losing all three they competed in across 2007.

    - Pat Cummins' tally of 87 Test wickets is more than any other bowler has taken since the start of 2018.

    -  Australia are undefeated in their last 30 Tests at the Gabba - winning 23 of those matches. Their last defeat at the Brisbane venue was against West Indies in 1988.

  • Can the West Indies Women avert a whitewash at the bats of their Indian rivals? Can the West Indies Women avert a whitewash at the bats of their Indian rivals?
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.