Dubai: Mohammed Siraj’s career-best haul of six for 15 helped India to dismiss hosts South Africa to 55 all out on the first day of the second and final Test at Newlands in Cape Town on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old Indian pacer made early inroads in the fourth over when he had Aiden Markram caught in the slips. Buoyed by the early success, Siraj went on to gain five more wickets to reduce the hosts to 45 for seven. Jasprit Bumrah and Mukesh Kumar claimed two wickets each as South Africa were bowled out for their lowest Test score on a pitch that had a good an amount of grass to hold it for the next five days in hot and humid conditions.
South Africa, who won the first Test at Centurion by an innings and 32 runs, won the toss and decided to bat but were bundled out before lunch with David Bedingham (12) and Kyle Verreynne (15) producing the highest partnership of 19 for the fifth wicket.
South Africa’s lowest score in Tests since re-entry was 73, which came against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2018. Against India, their lowest Test score was 79.
South Africa made three changes, including the inclusion of new cap Tristan Stubbs, who batted at No 4 in place of Keegan Petersen. Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi were named in place of the injured Temba Bavuma and Gerald Coetzee.
Jadeja replaces Ashwin
India selected a fit-again Ravindra Jadeja, coming in for fellow spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin while seam bowler Mukesh Kumar replaced Shardul Thakur.
“We’re in a great position after winning the first Test, but we’re very mindful of starting well,” said South African captain Dean Elgar, who is playing in his last Test match.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma said he would also have batted first. “We are quite upbeat about what we can achieve here,” he said. So far, the pitch has proved that it was a good toss to lose for the Indian skipper.
South Africa: Dean Elgar (captain), Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Tristan Stubbs, David Bedingham, Kyle Verreynne (wkt), Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Nandre Burger, Lungi Ngidi.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wkt), Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Mukesh Kumar.
— With inputs from AFP