Another India’s collapse neutralized as South Africa succumb to their lowest score

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28 Dec 2021 | 06:23 PM
authorAnirudh Kasargod

Another India’s collapse neutralized as South Africa succumb to their lowest score

Here are a few noteworthy stats from day three of the first Test between South Africa and India at SuperSport Park, Centurion

The whole second day was washed out due to persistent rain, just like the weather forecast predicted. On day three, bright sunshine welcomed the players as KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane looked to build-on. But, South African pacers had a different set of ideas. Both overnight batsmen, Rahul and Rahane were packed off early with Rahul adding a solitary run to his overnight score of 122 and Rahane adding eight. As has been the case several times since December 2020, India muddled things up in the morning session. They lost their last seven wickets for 55 runs.

In reply, South Africa were struck with a blow early when Dean Elgar was sent back in the first over of the innings. In no time, South Africa lost three quick wickets in the second session and were reeling at 32/4. Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock resurrected the innings with a 72-run partnership for the fifth wicket before de Kock was dismissed for 34. Wickets at regular intervals saw South Africa bundled out for 197 and hand India 130-run lead. Mohammed Shami with a five-for was the star with the ball. Here are few notable stats from day three:

Collapsed like a pack of cards

After having three 50+ partnerships out of the four wickets lost on day one, the next best partnership on day three was between Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj (19) for the 10th wicket. That sums up the level of collapse India suffered on day three. The last six partnerships for India lasted only 69 balls (11.3 overs), out of which 42 percent of the balls were faced by Bumrah and Siraj. In Tests since 2000, this is the fewest balls faced by the last six partnerships in the first innings for India.

Initial stutter

Just as Virat Kohli suggested at the toss, the pitch had quickened up on day three and the Indian pacers used it to perfection. Elgar was back in the hut in the first over of the innings and Keegan Petersen in the first over after lunch. Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen were back in the pavilion in a span of one over. At the end of the 13th over, South Africa were down to 32/4, their second lowest score at the loss of their fourth wicket in Centurion. Their lowest of 31 came against Sri Lanka in 2002. Interestingly, since their redemption in Tests in 1992, South Africa have lost their first four wickets for less than 40 runs seven times at home, out of which, India have been involved in three. Australia (1997), Sri Lanka (2002), Pakistan (2007) & England (2016) have done it once.  

Fastest hands

Among Indian wicket-keepers with at least 50 dismissals to their name, Rishabh Pant’s dismissal/innings ratio of 2.02 is the highest. With two dismissals per innings, no wonder why Pant has reached the landmark of 100 dismissals in quick-time. By reaching the landmark in just 26 matches, he became the quickest Indian wicket-keeper to 100 dismissals in Tests. MS Dhoni and Wriddhiman Saha achieved this feat in 36 matches, 10 matches later.

All-time low at their fortress

South Africa at SuperSport park have won 21 of their 27 matches and have a win/loss ratio of 10.5, a certain fortress. However, in recent times, India has developed a habit of breaching fortresses, Gabba for example. They are one step closer to breach another one after bundling out South Africa for 197. For the first time in Tests at SuperSport Park, South Africa were dismissed for less than 200. Their previous lowest total of 200 came against Sri Lanka in 1998 and Australia in 2014.

Shami joins an elite list of Indian bowlers

A bowler like Shami who relies much on seam movement, enjoys conditions like South Africa. With wickets of Petersen, Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Temba Bavuma and Kagiso Rabada, Shami became the fourth Indian bowler to bag a five-for multiple times in South Africa. Javagal Srinath (3), Venkatesh Prasad (2) & Sreesanth (2) are the other three to achieve this feat. Also, with the wicket of Rabada, Shami became the fifth Indian pacer to bag 200 wickets. Co-incidentally, his 100th and 200th wicket in Tests came against the same opposition at the same venue.

Flurry of wickets

Throughout the 90 overs of the first day of this Test, only four wickets fell. Day three was in complete contrast to day one. A total 18 wickets fell on day three, all of them to pacers. This is the most wickets fallen in a day’s play at SuperSport Park. Previously, in a match between South Africa and New Zealand in 2007, 16 wickets fell (The last batsman of New Zealand, Craig Cumming was retired out/absent hurt). In that match as well, it was on day three itself. 

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South Africa vs IndiaIndia tour of South Africa, 2021/22South AfricaIndiaRishabh PantMohammed ShamiKL RahulAjinkya Rahane

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