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Kagiso Rabada Bowls A Jaffa To Clean Up Rohit Sharma On A Duck
By CricShots - Dec 28, 2023 9:19 pm
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Centurion witnessed a tale of two innings on Day 4 of the first Test between India and South Africa. While Dean Elgar’s masterful century powered South Africa to a commanding 408, India’s top order crumbled, leaving them teetering on the precipice of a demoralizing defeat.

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada cleaned up Rohit Sharma

The hopes of a strong Indian reply rested heavily on the veteran shoulders of Rohit Sharma. However, Kagiso Rabada’s express pace proved too much for the Indian skipper, sending him back for a demoralizing duck with a unplayable delivery that rattled his timbers. Yashasvi Jaiswal followed suit shortly after, adding just 5 runs to the scoreboard before succumbing to Nandre Burger.

With two quick wickets down and a mountain of runs to chase, India faced an uphill battle against a confident South African bowling attack. The early dismissals exposed the fragility of India’s batting, which had looked tentative and defensive in their first innings. The attacking intent displayed by KL Rahul in the opening day seemed a distant memory as the remaining batsmen struggled to counter the pace and swing of the Proteas bowlers.

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Meanwhile, South Africa’s innings had been a masterclass in adaptability. Dean Elgar, in his farewell series, defied the Indian attack with a monumental 185, providing the bedrock for a formidable total. Marco Jansen’s unbeaten 84 and David Bedingham’s gritty 56 further bolstered the scoreboard, showcasing the depth and resilience of the South African batting lineup.

 

India’s bowling attack, spearheaded by Jasprit Bumrah’s four-wicket haul, couldn’t find the answers needed to contain the rampant South African batsmen. Prasidh Krishna, on his debut, looked overwhelmed by the occasion, struggling to make an impact and leaking runs at nearly five an over. The absence of the injured Mohammed Shami was clearly felt, leaving the Indian pace attack with a void to fill.

The fight isn’t over yet, but India’s task has become exponentially tougher. Overcoming a 163-run deficit against a buoyant South Africa requires not just technical prowess but also unwavering mental fortitude. Can India adapt their strategy, overcome their early jitters, and script a miraculous comeback or will they crumble under the pressure of South Africa’s dominance?

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This Test presents a crucial opportunity for India to rewrite their script in South Africa. Having never won a Test series on these shores, the pressure to rise to the occasion and silence the doubters is immense. The Centurion conundrum awaits, and its resolution will hinge on India’s ability to rediscover their batting mojo and mount a resolute fightback against a determined South African force.