India vs South Africa 1st Test Day 3: India hit back after Elgar, de Kock tons
Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock hit fabulous tons on Day 3 of the 1st Test against India at Visakhapatnam to lead South Africa’s fightback before Ravichandran Ashwin’s twin strike handed India the advantage again. South Africa went to stumps at 385 for 8, with Elgar contributing 160 and de Kock falling for 111.
Ashwin finished the day with 5 for 128, his 27th five-wicket haul, as the Proteas trailed India by 117 runs at stumps.
South Africa resumed the day on a fragile 39 for 3, and the spin duo of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were expected to make merry. However, things did not go according to plan for the hosts as Elgar and Temba Bavuma batted with resolve. The Proteas lost only one wicket in the opening session, and that too went to Ishant Sharma, who trapped Bavuma lbw for 18.
Elgar then found able support in his skipper Faf du Plessis, who walked in looking to exorcise the demons of 2015. The duo featured in a 115-run stand for the fifth wicket. Du Plessis looked good at the crease during his knock of 55, hitting eight fours and a six, before being caught by Cheteshwar Pujara at leg slip off Ashwin.
After du Plessis’ exit, Elgar and de Kock dominated the Indian bowling in a sixth-wicket stand of 164. The standout feature of Elgar’s batting was the footwork he demonstrated against the spinners, as he constantly went down the track to reach the pitch of the ball.
In all, the left-hander hit 18 fours and four sixes in his innings. Elgar reached his hundred in emphatic fashion, slog-sweeping Ashwin over the mid-wicket region. This was after Wriddhiman Saha failed to latch on to an edge from his bat off Jadeja’s bowling. Elgar was in his 70s then. He went on to punish India and was eventually dismissed after a mistimed hit saw Pujara taking a running catch in the deep. With the scalp of Elgar, Jadeja completed 200 wickets in Test cricket.
It was not a good day for India in the field as Rohit Sharma too could not hold on to a sharp chance from de Kock in the field, while standing close in, off the bowling of Hanuma Vihari. De Kock had scored only seven runs at that point.
Following the reprieve, de Kock went on to notch up his fifth Test hundred, hitting 16 fours and two sixes in the process. He, in fact, hit a maximum against Ashwin to reach three figures. It was the off-spinner, however, who dismissed him by getting one through his defence and then castled Vernon Philander for 0 by getting the ball to spin back from outside the off stump.