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South Africa vs India 2018: Top 5 Test bowling spells by Indians against the Proteas in South Africa

Two spinners feature on this list.

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10 04 Jan 2018, 14:14 IST
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Image result for Ishant Sharma – Johannesburg (2013)
Ishant Sharma at Johannesburg in 2013

The Indian team has struggled in South Africa. In 6 tours, they have never managed to win a Test series in the Rainbow Nation. Their best result has been 1-1 in a 3-match Test series and that came in 2010-11.

However, there have been a lot of brilliant individual performances. Here, we look at the best bowling spells by Indians in South Africa. Going to South Africa, it is important to adjust to the conditions and accordingly adjust your game. Thus, the following performances are a testimony to that. Hence, let’s look at the top 5 bowling spells. 


#5 Ishant Sharma – 4/79, Johannesburg (2013)

India’s tour of South Africa in 2013 (which was shortened) was off to a disastrous start. India had lost the 3-match ODI series 2-0 (with the last ODI washed out). And the overseas results over the last 2-3 years were poor. They had been whitewashed in Australia and England (4-0 on each of those tours). Hence, the Test series was very important.

The first Test which was played in Johannesburg is remembered as one of the most thrilling games in recent times. India won the toss and batted first. A brilliant century from Virat Kohli (119) helped the visitors get to 280 (losing their last 5 wickets for 16 runs). South Africa then continued to dominate as they reached 130/1 and looked in total control.

Ishant Sharma who had taken the first ticket looked in good rhythm. He bowled a nice tight line and didn’t give away much. But the only problem was he was bowling a bit short and most the wickets had fallen to the fuller length (he even dismissed Peterson with a full ball).

Hence, post tea on day 2, he changed his length and immediately reaped rewards. He dismissed Hashim Amla and Jacque Kallis on consecutive deliveries to bring India right back in the game. Amla left alone a fullish ball which nipped back in only to see his stumps shattered. Then, Kallis was pinned right in front when he missed a full nip-backing delivery from the tall lanky Delhi pacer. He later got one to bounce on Dale Steyn and got him edging to the slips.

His 4/79 helped India take a crucial lead of 36 runs. India then scored 421 in their second innings to set South Africa a target of 458 which was almost chased (the hosts finished with 450/7).

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