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India vs SA 1st Test: SA Daunted India’s Test Dominance with an Inning & 32-run Win

India lost a lot of wickets in the first several innings of the Test as a result of Rabada and rookie Nandre Burger’s seam movement troubles. KL Rahul helped India reach 245 in the first innings before answering with an incredible century. Markram was lost early by South Africa in response, but de Zorzi and Elgar blocked out the new ball. After that, the hosts took advantage of some mediocre bowling from Shardul and Prasidh, and Elgar scored his first century at Centurion—making it a father-child century. Bedingham and Jansen, who were both in their fifties and the latter with his highest-ever Test score, provided him considerable assistance. India was always losing the game despite having a 163 lead, and Rabada made sure to signal the death.

India was constantly losing the game despite having a 163 lead, and Rabada made sure to send the visitors packing. As Nadre Burger was brilliant in the second innings, Rohit crashed for a duck and four of the top seven fell for single digits. Kohli was the only fighter for India in the second innings, but when his men aren’t armed or willing to battle, what can even a monarch do? The Indians were bowled out in 35 overs in the second innings by South Africa, who exploited the surface in a way that they can only look back and learn from.

Day 1: Rabada Roars, Rahul Rescues

  • The Centurion sun witnessed a fiery opening act from Kagiso Rabada and debutant Nandre Burger, ripping through India’s top order with ruthless seam movement. Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, and Virat Kohli all fell cheaply, leaving India reeling at 38/4.
  • KL Rahul, the lone warrior, stood tall amidst the carnage. He played with admirable composure and class, weaving boundaries and defying the Proteas bowlers. His masterful century (101) single-handedly lifted India to a respectable 245 all out.

Day 2: Elgar Emerges, Proteas Flourish 

  • South Africa started cautiously in reply, losing Aiden Markram early. However, Theunis de Zorzi and Dean Elgar weathered the initial storm and built a solid partnership. Elgar, finding his rhythm, played with a delightful blend of patience and aggression.
  • As the day progressed, the Centurion pitch eased considerably, and Elgar capitalized, transforming his solid start into a magnificent century. By stumps, he stood defiant at 151, with South Africa in a commanding position at 263/3.

Day 3: Double Delight for Elgar, Proteas Take Control

  • Elgar continued his masterclass on Day 3, nonchalantly converting his century into a double. He found able partners in David Bedingham (56) and Marco Jansen (84*), who both chipped in with valuable half-centuries.
  • India’s bowlers, particularly Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna, lacked bite on the docile pitch, struggling to contain the Proteas’ flow of runs. Elgar eventually reached 185 before holing out, leaving South Africa in a dominant position at 408/5.
  • Despite all the hoopla over India perhaps crossing their last boundary, in just three days, they have been duped. And they have been outclassed, bruised, battered, and rendered to appear like amateurs by a team far more prepared for the circumstances. 

Key Talking Points

  • Rabada’s fiery spell dismantled India’s top order, setting the tone for the first two days.
  • Rahul’s lone century shone brightly amidst the Indian batting collapse.
  • Elgar’s monumental double century and South Africa’s capitalizing on the eased pitch put them firmly in control.
  • Supportive fifties from Bedingham and Jansen solidified the Proteas’ lead.
  • India’s bowling lacked penetration on the unresponsive pitch, struggling to contain South Africa’s run flow.
  • Despite Temba Bavuma’s injury, which further hindered South Africa’s chances of winning, their new guys performed with such maturity and discipline that they defeated the best Test side.
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