Rohit Sharma
India's Rohit Sharma raises his bat. Image Credit: AFP

Visakhapatnam: Indian captain Virat Kohli hailed Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal and the bowlers for their performances after their win in the first Test against South Africa on Sunday.

Mohammed Shami took five wickets on Day 5 and Ravindra Jadeja took four as India dismissed South Africa for 191 to complete a 203-run victory.

“When you put 500 on the board, you’re always ahead. Even with the fight they showed, we still had a lead. Rohit was outstanding. Mayank brilliant,” said Kohli in the post-match presentation ceremony. “Shami has been a strike bowler in the second innings. All the guys lived up to their strengths.”

Kohli said that the bowlers had it tougher in the match and that he would like the SG balls to do more. “Batting heroes were obvious. But bowlers had it tougher in this game. This lot of SG balls is much better than the last one. If it softens up, there’s literally nothing happening after 40-45 overs. Will still like it to be harder till about 60 overs,” he said.

“It was a hard grind because of the conditions, especially the weather conditions. And the pitch slowed down too. It’s all about the attitude. If fast bowlers are going to think that spinners are going to do all the work, then it doesn’t justify their place. They ask for shorter spells so they can give 100 per cent. That’s when you see guys like Shami, Ishant, Jasprit and Umesh doing well as well.”

Sharma was man of the match for his efforts and said that the focus was to go out there, “have fun and put the team in a good position.”

“Just wanted to go out there and do what I do best. Great opportunity for me at the top. Thankful for the chance, considering I’ve never done that before. Focus was on winning the Test match and I think we pretty much did everything right today,”

India have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The second Test, which starts on October 10, will be played in Pune.


India 1st innings: 502 decl

South Africa 1st innings: 431 all out

India 2nd innings: 323 decl

South Africa 2nd innings

A. Markram c&b Jadeja 39

D. Elgar lbw Jadeja 2

T. De Bruyn b Ashwin 10

T. Bavuma b Shami 0

F. Du Plessis b Shami 13

Q. De Kock b Shami 0

S. Muthusamy Not Out 49

V. Philander lbw Jadeja 0

K. Maharaj lbw Jadeja 0

D. Piedt b Shami 56

K. Rabada c Saha b Shami 18

Extras: (2b 2lb) 4

Total: (63.5 overs, all out) 191

Fall of Wickets: 1-4 Elgar, 2-19 de Bruyn, 3-20 Bavuma, 4-52 du Plessis, 5-60 de Kock, 6-70 Markram, 7-70 Philander, 8-70 Maharaj, 9-161 Piedt, 10-191 Rabada

Bowling: Ashwin 20-5-44-1, Jadeja 25-6-87-4, Shami 10.5-2-35-5, Ishant 7-2-18-0, Rohit 1-0-3-0