Virat Kohli-led team India was finally able to breach the fortress Centurion as the formidable India pace unit destroyed a listless South Africa to fashion an emphatic 113-run win in the first Test here, setting the team on course for a maiden series victory in the country.
Virat Kohli lavishes praise on Indian pacers, specially Mohammed Shami
Indian captain Virat Kohli lavished praise for his pace bowlers and credited them for India’s success in getting results for the last two to three years.
“Just the way these guys bowl together, it’s just a hallmark of our team getting a result from that position, not just in this game but also in the last two-three years,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers whose five-wicket hall in the first innings helped India gain the upper hand with a sizable lead. Virat Kohli claimed that Shami is one of the top three seam bowlers in the world.
Speaking about Shami, he said, “He is absolutely world-class talent. For me, he’s one of the best three seamers in the world at the moment. His strong wrist, his seam position, and his ability to hit a length consistently.
India was handed the advantage on the first day itself when centurion KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal set it up with a big opening partnership, and Kohli said that partnership made a huge difference to the outcome of the match.
“The discipline that the batters showed… Winning the toss, batting first overseas is a tough challenge. Credit to Mayank and KL for the way they set it up. “We knew we were in pole position with anything over 300-320. We have a lot of belief in our bowling unit and knew the bowlers will get the job done,” Virat Kohli pointed out.
Wohoo Brisbane, Oval, Lord’s and now Centurion…Congratulations @imVkohli, Rahul Dravid and the entire contingent on becoming the first Asian nation to win at Centurion #BoxingDayTest #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/k9zTHE1nWQ
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) December 30, 2021
Batting was the difference between the two sides: Dean Elgar
Dean Elgar played a gritty knock in the fourth innings but couldn’t save the test match for his country. He became the first South African captain to lose a test match against an Asian side at Centurion.
“Obviously not a nice thing knowing we lost a Test here. Did a few things wrong. A lot of positives coming out that we can use in the next two. Always the nature here. Always going to be tough because the wicket’s playing slower (first morning),” Elgar said.
He added, “Indian openers did the fundamentals right. We didn’t quite execute the lengths well. After some good chats, our bowlers executed the lengths and restricted India to what we thought was a par score.
“New ball is something you have to get through playing here. Can’t emphasize enough the hard work our bowlers put in to get 20 wickets. Our batters let us down. I’d say the batting was the difference between the two sides.
The next encounter between the two sides will be played in Johannesburg on 3rd January.
• Virat Kohli praises Indian pacers and calls Shami one of the best seam bowlers in the world.
• Dean Elgar feels the batting was the difference between the two sides.