Kohli plays lone hand as India routed by South Africa by an innings in three-day thrashing
Debutant left-arm pacer Nandre Burger claimed 4-33 as India crashed to a stunning defeat against South Africa on day three of the first Test.
Burger’s burst, combined with two wickets each for Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen, meant India were bowled out for a paltry 131 runs in their second innings.
That gave South Africa victory by an innings and 32 runs and a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Burger, 28, finished with a match haul of 7-83 on his debut, while Rabada finished with 7-91 across both innings. The latter had picked 5-59 in the first innings.
“We were not good enough to win,” skipper Rohit Sharma said. “We didn’t exploit conditions with the ball and didn’t show up today with the bat.
“If we want to win Tests overseas, we have to come together collectively and we didn’t do that. Our batters were challenged and we didn’t adapt well.”
The Proteas earlier finished the first innings on 408, thanks largely to a marathon 185-run knock from Dean Elgar. India had been bowled out for 245 in their first innings.
“It was a pretty special knock. I tried to play late and focus on the ball, playing it nice and straight,” Elgar said. “We did well to take 20 wickets … KG (Rabada) was brilliant and Burger showed why he has been a shining light for South African cricket.
“The Indian team is a difficult one to beat, but we were pretty clinical.”
Trailing by 163 runs, India’s second innings got off to the worst possible start and never recovered.
Opener Yashaswi Jaiswal had been dropped at slip off the first ball, but he didn’t survive long. He was caught behind off a rising delivery by Burger for five.
Sharma was bowled for an eight-ball duck when Rabada broke through his defence in the third over.
Shubman Gill played some attractive shots but was bowled for 26, playing across the line against Burger.
Gill had added 39 runs with Kohli for the third wicket. Even so, it wasn’t a comfortable partnership and India went to tea at 3-62.
The procession of wickets continued straight after play resumed as Jansen bowled Shreyas Iyer for six, again playing across the line.
Burger then made quick work of the lower order. First innings centurion KL Rahul was caught at second slip and Ravichandran Ashwin hung out his bat on the first ball he faced and was caught at gully.
Kohli played some attractive strokes towards the end, and reached 50 off 61 balls. Overall he hit 12 fours and a six, but was unable to complete his century, out caught off Jansen for 76.
India were bowled out in just 34.1 overs across less than two sessions in a hapless batting display.
This was after South Africa added only 16 runs to their first innings post lunch. Skipper Temba Bavuma did not bat owing to a hamstring injury and was later ruled out of Wednesday’s second Test in Cape Town.
An old injury flared up in the field as he chased a ball on Boxing Day and scans revealed a hamstring tear.
He was unable to bat even when Marco Jansen needed a partner to help him reach a maiden Test century, leaving him stranded on 84.
Elgar, named man of the match, will lead South Africa in what will be his final Test, having last week announced his international retirement after this series. Zubayr Hamza has been added to the squad as cover.
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Jansen was left high and dry as Jasprit Bumrah wrapped up the tail with two quick wickets. The pacer finished with 4-69 in an otherwise uninspiring Indian bowling display.
India have never won an away series in South Africa and cannot do that now in this two-Test series.