India vs South Africa, 1st Test: Familiar batting woes jolt India out of Cape Town dream | Cricket News
NEW DELHI: The dream flickered. No, no. Maintain on. It hissed and spat and jumped out of the embers. A place of potential heartbreak was turned in a matter of moments. The underdogs had been punching above their weight in a way not often seen in these components. It was electrical. At water coolers and low machines and printers, the discuss was not of when India would lose, however quite the opportunity of them successful earlier than the fourth day was over. Hope soared. You can really feel it throughout you. It was unusual. Absurd. Backbone-tingling, briefly.
John McClane was plucking out every of Hans Gruber’s employed villains, however with out naked toes bloodied by shards of glass. The Karate Child was drop-kicking these highschool bullies and ruddy idiots from Cobra Kai with out breaking a sweat. Simran was reaching out to seize Raj’s outstretched hand, however with out all that household melodrama and having to chase a shifting prepare. Was all of it potential?
South Africa beat India by 72 runs to take 1-Zero lead
After which, poof! That outdated phantom emerged, embraced India in its deathly bear grip, and off they gladly went, as equals, into that afterlife generally known as The Nice Indian Batting Collapse. Ho hum.
Set 208 with 5 classes to go at Newlands, India combusted for 135. The third lowest goal they did not chase down (Barbados, you stay in hallowed territory). An entire day washed out was faraway from the image. A South Africa collapse of eight wickets for 65 runs in one of the vital dramatic classes of play in these components was negated. It was gorgeous. Nevertheless it was acquainted.
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One after the opposite, India’s batsmen got here and went. Shikhar Dhawan – how else? – spliced an edge whereas in a complete tangle. Murali Vijay flashed to 3rd slip. Cheteshwar Pujara’s bat all of the sudden discovered itself shifting in that awkward method which sees edges fly behind the stumps. Virat Kohli performed round his pads. Rohit Sharma bought out as Rohit Sharma does. Hardik Pandya flayed to gully. Off the final ball of the second session, Wriddhiman Saha turned the seventh wicket to fall. India had been 82/7.
It was Barbados 1997, Jamaica 2002, Bangalore 2005, Mumbai/Durban 2006 and Previous Trafford/Adelaide 2014 and Galle 2015 over again.
In opposition to South Africa, it was by no means going to be simple. There was the minor undeniable fact that solely seven occasions had a goal in extra of 200 been efficiently chased on South African soil, however by no means by an Asian group. South Africa had been with out the injured Dale Steyn, however nonetheless had a incredible fast-bowling trio in Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander.
What caught India unexpectedly was how the situations progressively began to help swing. There was motion and South Africa’s quicks exploited it brilliantly. India’s batting just isn’t practically as dangerous because the scorecard from Cape City exhibits you. In truth, they’re higher than a number of touring groups. But to outlive, after which succeed, in opposition to the type of exemplary spirit that Philander displayed on Monday wanted a mettle of a superior sort. Technically and tactically, India got here undone. Philander was elegant, and aided by a second of brilliance from de Kock to eliminate R Ashwin, he completed India off with three wickets in a single over after tea. South Africa gained by 72 runs, Philander had career-best figures of 6/42 and the guests are behind Zero-1.
For India, it was a incredible alternative misplaced. That acquainted story of a batting line-up price its weight in gold in acquainted situations being discovered wanting sorely in bouncy situations replayed itself. The critics can have their knives out, rightfully so. The refrain of ‘flat-track bullies’ will play loud. There are positives, within the all-round show of Pandya, impressed bursts from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, and a file ten catches for Saha. However, however, however …
There was no fairytale ending for India at Newlands. Vangelis’ iconic soundtrack didn’t play. This was not an adrenaline-fuelled against-the-odds sports activities movie. It was actuality.
For South Africa, it will rank as considered one of their most well-known dwelling wins, coming because it did from the depths of 12/three on day one after which a collapse of eight/65 on day 4. On day one it was AB de Villiers’ glowing counter-attack that had given South Africa hope, and on the fourth it was Philander who made a goal of 208 appear to be 350.
India are ranked No 1 in Assessments, however have a lot to do in 4 days to dispel doubts over their potential to win away from Asia in probably the most testing of situations.