Jasprit Bumrah took out South Africa's Dean Elgar
Jasprit Bumrah maintained his strike-rate with his seventh five-wicket haul in only 28 Test matches. Image Credit: AFP

Indian bowlers bailed out Team India once again by bowling out South Africa cheaply and gaining a lead on the second day after their own batters had folded up for just 223 in the first innings on the first day at Cape Town.

The trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav picked up all the South African wickets to fall with some high class seam and swing bowling with Bumrah being the pick of the them - picking up his seventh five-wicket haul in only his 28th Test match.

There was a time when Indian bowlers could not pick 20 wickets in a match away from home but after Virat Kohli taking over as captain, the tide has changed with all his fast bowlers in Bumrah, Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj Shardul Thakur delivering time and again. They not only got those wickets but made India win away from home - which was a rarity before 2018.


India were always a difficult side to beat at home because of their spinners but with the advent of their fast bowlers, India is the only Asian team to win on venues like Johannesburg, Centurion, Nottingham, Lord’s, Oval, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Lord’s, North Sound and Kingston in the West Indies.

India’s average innings score in Tests from the beginning of 2018 had been below 300 runs but have still managed to win series after series because of their bowlers. India has lost just three series in that period, one each to South Africa, England and the last one to New Zealand in early 2020 - which is why India is the No.1 team in Test cricket for last five years. Virat Kohli has won 12 consecutive series at home - which is by far the highest among all Indian captains.

India have got a slender lead of 13 runs and will have to bat well and set South Africa a target of 300 to win their first series against them - which will be another feather in Kohli’s cap as Test captain. His batsmen will definitely have to put their hands up this time so that the bowlers have enough to defend as the loss in the second Test match must be fresh in their minds when South Africa chased 240 with ease.

India could not capitalize the advantage Shardul had given them in the second Test match and hope they have learnt and will not repeat the mistake they did in the second innings of the Wanderers Test. They have lost both their openers cheaply and currently lead by 70 runs. Their captain is still there, who was the highest scorer along with Cheteshwar Pujara in the first innings and if India have to set a target of around 300, both will have to take the responsibility to bat South Africa out of the match.

- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice Chairman of Danube Group