India vs South Africa, 1st Test: Dean Elgar’s ton in farewell series gives South Africa the lead | Cricket News – Times of India

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South Africa started the day without their two best bowlers. India responded by making their own questionable decision in the post-lunch session. Captain Rohit Sharma made the decision of not bringing on Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj straight away after lunch. He opted for Shardul Thakur and debutant Prasidh Krishna. South Africa were 49-1 at that point.
In an extended middle session of about 150 minutes (due to loss of play on both mornings), the hosts blasted 145 runs in 33 overs, losing just two wickets. The momentum appeared to have changed hands.

To sum up, stand-in captain Dean Elgar (140; 211b, 23×4) and Tony de Zorzi batted for 108 minutes to add 93 runs in about 24 overs for the second wicket. Though India removed de Zorzi and Keegan Petersen in the space of nine balls, opener Elgar and debutant David Bedingham (56 off 87) made the best use of better conditions and a sub-par bowling effort to add 131 runs in around 30 overs for the fourth wicket.

Hosts South Africa thus put their noses ahead on the second day of the first Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion, on Wednesday. At stumps, they were 256-5 in their first innings in response to India’s 245.
Earlier, KL Rahul leapt from an overnight 70 to 101 in 32 balls on the day as India added 37 to their score. Stand-in captain Elgar, playing in his farewell series, pulled Thakur’s no-ball for four to reach his hundred and yelled and leapt in joy. It was his 14th Test hundred in his 150th innings and his first on his home ground. Even Virat Kohli clapped as Elgar celebrated his ton.

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Elgar did not need much invitation to tonk India’s bowlers, although he was not in total control in the initial phase of his knock. India also conceded too many boundaries.
Elgar had smashed a match-winning unbeaten 96 in the fourth innings against India in the Jo’burg Test in 2022 that allowed the hosts to claw back in the series. In the World Cup final it was another left-hander in Travis Head who silenced them.

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There is something about the left-handers against Team India, who also had the services of offie R Ashwin, who has an imperious record against southpaws. But it was not just about the left-handers.
Debutant Bedingham, 29, a righthanded middle-order batter, played with conviction in nearly flawless manner to rub it in. The experience of about 6,000 first-class runs in 10 years was evident.

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A couple of shots that he hit against Bumrah on either side of the wicket with sheer timing were pristine.
Earlier in the day, Elgar did not go with seamer Nandre Burger to assist Rabada from the other end. Burger was impressive the previous day. Plus he is a lefthander. Finally, when Burger came in to the attack, he removed centurion KL Rahul with his fourth ball of the day.

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