India fans were in for an absolute delight this afternoon as Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced a wonderful effort of swing bowling.
On a lush green top at the Newlands in Cape Town, South Africa chose to bat first.
India, in their first away series in a long time, sprung a couple of surprises in their team selection, choosing Rohit Sharma over vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and handing a first Test cap to Jasprit Bumrah over experienced duo Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma.
There was nervous tension all over as the Indian Test juggernaut faced their first major challenge away in South Africa. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was true to the task, breaking the back of the South African batting lineup with a wonderful display of bowling, bordering on the unplayable at times.
He first got South Africa’s top run scorer in Tests in 2017, Dean Elgar, caught behind with the one that seamed away.
Dean Elgar – c Saha b Kumar – 0(3) – 0/1
In his next over, he got rookie Aiden Markram, who averaged 95 in Tests before this match. After setting Markram up with a few outswingers in the over, he surprised him with an in-swinger, pinning him lbw as the opener could offer no shot in surprise.
Aiden Markram – lbw b Kumar – 5(10) – 7/2
And then, he got the biggest fish of them all – the great Hashim Amla. Amla offered a slightly needless shot to an outswinger, and was duly caught behind by Wriddhman Saha.
Hashim Amla – c Saha b Kumar – 3(10) – 12/3
His spell left South Africa tottering at 12/3 in 5 overs. South Africa have since been in a rebuilding stage. A 50-run partnership between captain Faf du Plessis and the effortless AB de Villiers has helped matters. The Proteas will be looking to go into the lunch break with no further loss, while the Indians will be hoping to prise another big wicket away.