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India Tour of South Africa: The Tourists Disappoint

Before India embarked on the tour of South Africa, the contest was expected to be one-sided. But not in the way it has turned out to be. India were expected to register their first test series win over South Africa against a home team that has lost some star players since India’s last tour of that country.

First test at Centurion

India won the toss and elected to bat. On the back of a ton by Rahul, they scored 327. India bowled out the hosts for 197 to gain a substantial first innings lead. Although India were bowled out for 174 in their second knock, they managed to set a target of 305 for South Africa to chase. As things transpired, India bowled out Dean Elgar’s wards for 191 in their second knock to register a 113-run win.

India Tour of South Africa

Second test at Johannesburg

India suffered a blow ahead of the second test when skipper Kohli who suffered a back spasm was ruled out. Led by Rahul, India batted first yet again. But this time around they failed to capitalise on the first use of the wicket. But though India scored only 202, their bowlers bailed them by bowling out the hosts for 229 to concede a thin lead of 27 runs.

When India batted a second time, they collapsed from a position of relative comfort. The scoreboard read 155/2, with Pujara and Rahane at the crease. Inexplicably, India were bowled out for 266 on an uncharacteristically fast Jo’burg wicket. The target of 240 appeared good enough against an apparently brittle SA batting line up. But India hadn’t reckoned with a tenacious Dean Elgar who scored an unbeaten 98 to help level the series 1-1.

Third test at Cape Town

With Kohli back at the helm, Indian supporters were still optimistic that India would come back strongly in the third test. Batting first for the third time in the series, India disappointed once again, getting bowled out for 223. SA’s reply of 202 kept the optimism alive.

But India’s second innings score of 198 despite an unbeaten hundred by Pant. However, the Indian bowlers failed to exploit the wicket to the same degree as their SA counterparts. The match ended on a similar note as the second one. This time around the hero was young Peterson. The number three SA batter showed maturity beyond his years to guide his side to an unlikely series win.

First ODI at Paarl

With the test series done and dusted, the first ODI of a three-match series began at Paarl. After SA won the toss and opted to bat first, the Indian bowlers, led by Bumrah, managed to send three batsmen back to the pavilion with just 68 runs on the board. But the tourists hadn’t reckoned with the double-century partnership between Bavuma and van der Dussen that was to follow.

Although SA ended up with a sub-300 score, it was a challenging one on a surface that grew slower as the match wore on. India got off to good start and was comfortably placed at 138 for 1 at one stage. But the departure of the well-set duo of Dhawan and Kohli within the space of a few overs pegged India back.

A half-century by Shardul Thakur proved to be too little too late, and the tourists ended up losing the match by 30 runs.

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Raj was born and raised in Nagpur, Rajesh moved to Pune to pursue a degree in the English Language at Savitribai Phule Pune University. Having a knack for writing from a very young age, he naturally excelled in his studies and decided to dip his toes in content editing, as well. Now, a full-time Editor, he enjoys spending his free time watching IPL and badminton matches and writing his first novel. His favourite sport is cricket and he believes cricket is life. But I’ve always dreamed of becoming a professional badminton player, so badminton is also at the top of my list. His biggest win is Saina Nehwal’s bronze at the 2016 Olympics landed him a brand new laptop after his bet on the winning margin came through. His biggest goal is meeting Saina Nehwal and telling her about his biggest win.