CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s chances of survival in this first Test nose-dived dramatically in the final session of the second day in Visakhapatnam.
After being kept in the field for 136 overs after India piled up a mammoth 502/7 declared, it was the turn of the hosts’ lethal spin duo to wreak havoc with the new ball.
Virat Kohli had no hesitation in turning to his ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as early as the third over of South Africa’s innings. The lanky Ashwin required just 13 balls to make an impact, clean bowling Aiden Markram (5) through the gate with a beautiful delivery that drifted through the air and spun off the surface.
Ashwin was only starting to get into his work though. A few overs later, he had Theunis de Bruyn (4) caught behind through a splendid catch by wicket-keeper W. Saha.
With the floodlights already switched on and the close of play fast approaching South Africa opted to send nightwatchman Dane Piedt to the crease. However, Piedt was not equipped for the quality spin bowling he was to encounter and lasted just four balls before being bamboozled by a straight delivery from Ravindra Jadeja to be clean bowled for a duck.