The bowlers had it tougher – Kohli hails India's attack after thumping win over Proteas

By Sports Desk October 06, 2019

Virat Kohli was keen to highlight the impressive efforts of his bowlers after India completed a resounding 203-run victory over South Africa in the first Test at Visakhapatnam.

Any hopes the Proteas had of batting out the final day were effectively ended before lunch as they slumped from 11-1 to 70-8, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja each striking three times in the morning session with the latter's wickets all coming in one over.

Debutant Senuran Muthusamy (49 not out) and Dane Piedt (56) delayed the inevitable with a defiant ninth-wicket partnership of 91 but South Africa were still bowled out for 191 as Shami returned to complete a five-wicket haul.

There was also a landmark wicket for Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday. The off-spinner's dismissal of Theunis de Bruyn was his 350th in Tests and came after he had returned 7-145 in the Proteas' first innings.

India's opening batsmen played key roles in their win, with Mayank Agarwal compiling 215 across the first two days and Rohit Sharma making 176 and 127 in a stunning first Test at the top of the order.

Although South Africa replied to India's 502-7 declared with 431, the hosts' second-innings score of 323-4 laid the platform for a dominant win.

"When you put 500 on the board you are always ahead of the game," said Kohli in the post-match presentation. "I think Rohit was outstanding in both innings, Mayank along with him in the first innings, brilliant.

"The batting heroes were obvious, but I think the bowlers had it tougher in this game, to keep going with the conditions, so they deserve a lot of credit as well."

Kohli described the performances of Jadeja and Ashwin as "really, really good", before praising Shami for his superb final-day showing.

"Shami has been a strike bowler for us in the second innings consistently now," the captain added. "If you see all his four- and five-wicket hauls, they invariably come in the second innings when the team needs it. [When] the ball is reversing a bit, that's his strength."

Man of the match Rohit revealed he had been well-prepared for his first experience as a Test opener.

"A couple of years ago it was communicated to me that you might open at some stage, so I was prepared for it," he explained.

"Even in the nets whenever I was not playing a Test match, I would practice with the red ball, with the new ball. In my mind I was pretty much ready to have that opportunity any time.

"I wouldn't say it came to me as a surprise, I was ready for it. It was a great opportunity for me at the top of the order, doing it for the first time, so I just wanted to enjoy the moment. At the same time, I'm really thankful to the coach, captain and the selectors for giving me that opportunity."

Related items

  • Archer still underestimates himself – Root Archer still underestimates himself – Root

    England paceman Jofra Archer still underestimates his own talent, according to captain Joe Root.

    Archer is only four games into his Test career, but has taken 22 wickets at an average of 20.27 and shapes as being a key in England's series against New Zealand.

    But Root said the 24-year-old needed to have more belief in his own abilities ahead of the series opener in Mount Maunganui starting on Thursday.

    "Jofra adds something slightly different to what we had previously, but one thing he underestimates is his own talent," Root said, via the Daily Mail.

    "That pace through the air can be a big skill on its own. I want him to enjoy bowling, and to come away from here learning there is more than one way of taking wickets. He doesn't have to be seaming or swinging it round corners.

    "He makes it look ridiculously easy with his action and the way he approaches the crease.

    "But to be able to bowl at that pace for a period of time is a skill in itself, and I think he needs to understand that."

    England named their team for the first game on Wednesday, with opener Dom Sibley set for his Test debut.

    Meanwhile, New Zealand released Lockie Ferguson and Todd Astle from their squad.

  • Thomas and Hamilton shine as Hurricanes stifle Combined Colleges and Campuses Thomas and Hamilton shine as Hurricanes stifle Combined Colleges and Campuses

    Half-centuries from Devon Thomas and Jahmar Hamilton on Tuesday powered the Leeward Island Hurricanes to a six-wicket win over the Combined Colleges and Campuses at Conaree in the Colonial Insurance Super 50 competition.

  • 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."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.