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South Africa vs India 2018: Bhuvneshwar Kumar's terrific new-ball spell is SK play of the day

Manish Pathak
687   //    05 Jan 2018, 16:00 IST

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar wreaked havoc with the new ball

The much-anticipated Test series between India and South Africa could not have begun in a more emphatic tone for the visitors.

On a patch Newlands surface, Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat first. India handed a debut to Jasprit Bumrah, but it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who wreaked havoc right from the first over.

After sliding his first couple of deliveries down the leg side, Bhuvneshwar angled his third ball across left-hander Dean Elgar who poked his bat at it only to feather it behind to Wriddhiman Saha. 0 for 1, South Africa and India had announced their arrival.

Kumar then came back with his second over, pushed the ball outside the off stump and invited Aiden Markram to come at him and drive the ball back down the ground. However, he bowled an absolute peach of a ball in the sixth ball of this second over, when the ball pitched on off and middle stump and moved prodigiously off the seam and pinned Markram right in front of the stumps.

The right-hander did not review it and rightly so, the hosts were suddenly reduced to seven for two.

And then came the big fish, Hashim Amla who was watchful, but ended up playing a rather loose stroke outside off stump and nicked it behind to Wriddhiman Saha. India were right amongst them and the hosts were stunned at 12 for 3.

However, Mohammed Shami and then later Jasprit Bumrah did not exert quite the same pressure from the other end and this allowed AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis to launch a counter-attack and in many ways, they blunted the Indian attack and managed to even out the session at lunch.

De Villiers notched up his half-century a classy and very positive knock, he was ably assisted by Faf du Plessis who was tight at the other end but put away any loose balls.

The bounce on the Newlands surface was uniform as was the pace but by al means, it seems to be new ball pitch and this is where the Indian team will have to be careful as the South African batting will look to play their strokes and gallop away despite the loss of wickets.

The hosts went into lunch at 107 for three in 26 overs.

India still ahead, but the hosts evened out the balance!

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