India were expected to win the first test match of the Freedom series against South Africa and they did not disappoint their fans. India won the first test at Visakhapatnam by 203 runs to take a 1-0 series lead in the two match test series.
South Africa played really well in the first test given the fact that a lot of their players were playing test cricket for the first time in India. They fought hard with both bat and ball but India had a little too much firepower in both departments and steamrolled them.
R Sharma Dominates First Test
The selectors gave into the pressure of giving R Sharma a chance to open the innings in test cricket and he responded by hitting back-to-back centuries. Sharma and M Agarwal put together a 300 run partnership in the first innings with R Sharma scoring (176) and Agarwal (215) scoring his maiden test century. India went on to score a mammoth 502 before Kohli declared.
South Africa were in trouble initially as R Ashwin struck twice to put the Proteas under pressure. However, D Elgar (160), Quinton de Kock (111) and captain Faf du Plessis (55) showed determination and grit and helped South Africa fight back and get to 431. R Ashwin was impressive claiming 7 wickets in the first innings.
India scored quickly in the second innings as R Sharma once again showed his class and scored his second century of the game. Sharma scored (127) at a strike rate of 85 as India looked to push on and set a huge total for South Africa. V Kohli, R Jadeja and A Rahane all played cameos to push the scoring and set a target of 395.
M Shami Picks Up 5 Wickets
South Africa would have expected the two experienced Indian spinners to be their biggest challenge on day 5. However, it was M Shami who proved to be the main wrecker in their second innings as he picked up 5 crucial wickets. R Jadeja also played his part and took 4 wickets to bowl South Africa out for 191.
This clinical performance in both batting and bowling departments will give India a lot of confidence going into the second test match in Pune which begins on Oct 10. V Kohli will be eager to wrap up the series 2-0 and extend India’s point lead on the World Test Championship table!