This tour was expected to be a tough tour of Virat Kohli and the India cricket team and the first test match against South Africa has ended in the same manner as we anticipated. India has lost the test match by a margin of 72 runs and the captain Virat Kohli looked certainly out of form with the bat. In spite of dismissing South Africa batting line on the first day of the test match, Indian players did not quite show up with poor performance with bat except Hardik Pandya who did show some character while batting in the first innings.
Indian batsmen faced a lot of problems while facing South African bowlers. In both the innings, they faced difficulty to play swinging deliveries and most of them gave away their wickets in the slips corner.
Only Hardik Pandya was capable enough to score runs on this fast running pitch that took Indian to a comparatively a good total in the first innings. Not only with the bat, he had also impressed his fans by his bowling too with taking three wickets in the match.
One good reason that this tour is not so finished yet is India’s super bowling attack that restricted South Africa to score runs on the board. Indian bowlers kept South Africa on their toes with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami bowling the Proteas all out in the second innings. South Africa suffered difficulty handling Indian bowlers whereas seamers from India bowled in the right corner of the pitch to wreck South Africa’s total. While Indian batting was debatable in the first test match bowling lift up to the expectations with cricket experts commented that Indian bowling line up had the ability to test the batting of Proteas.
We got to see a great bowling display by Vernon Philander who crushed Indian batsmen in the fourth innings. He took six wickets after conceding only 42 runs and hence was the Man of the Match for his magic spell. It was a career-best performance of Philander. Not only this, South Africa team was only playing with four bowlers in the fourth innings with Dale Steyn been ruled out from the series due to a significant damage on his left heel. They had bowled out India with four bowlers that is something commendable for a team.
In a three test match series, the time is short for the team lagging behind to bounce back. The next test match which starts on 13th January at Centurion is a must win for Virat Kohli and company. It will be interesting to see how the captain of the team shapes up mentally for the remaining test series and what changes the team management will make in the next Test.