After handing a resounding 113-run defeat to South Africa in the first Test of the three-match series, Virat Kohli has stated that getting the result in four days of play underlines the quality of Team India. Day 2 of the first Test was called off without a ball being bowled due to persistent rain.
Team India claimed their first-ever Test victory in Centurion after they defeated South Africa by 113 runs in the first fixture of the three-match series. The Virat Kohli-led side outplayed the hosts despite a whole day's play lost to rain on Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test in Centurion, which began on December 26. Team India's exuberant fast bowling unit played a crucial role in winning the series opener, and handed South Africa their third defeat in 27 Tests in Centurion.
South Africa started Day 5 needing 211 runs to win with six wickets in hand, and the hosts lost the wicket of Dean Elgar (77) before lunch. The weather forecast suggested that rain might interrupt the final session, however, a brilliant bowling performance from the Indian pacers, troubled the South Africa batsman, and wickets fell in regular intervals on Day 5. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami ended with three wickets each, while Mohammed Siraj scalped two wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin, who did not clinch a wicket in the first innings, scalped two wickets in successive deliveries in the 68th over, and helped India to register a 113-run victory against the Proteas.
Reflecting on India's performance in the series opener, Virat Kohli stated that getting the result in four days shows the quality of his side. The India Test captain also branded Mohammed Shami as a world-class bowler.
"We got off to the perfect start we wanted to. Getting the result in four days shows how well we played. It's always a difficult place, South Africa, but we were clinical with bat, ball and in the field. A lot of credit goes to Mayank and KL and we were in pole position at 270 for 3 after day one. We had a lot of belief in our bowling unit to get the job done. We spoke about it in the change room. Since he didn't bowl much in the first innings, it helped opposition get those extra runs. Just the way these guys bowl together, it's just a hallmark of our team getting a result from that position. Shami is an absolutely world-class bowler, among top three seam bowlers in the world for me. Very, very happy for him to get 200 wickets and have an impactful performances," said Kohli after the match.
Earlier in the first innings, KL Rahul notched up his seventh Test hundred, and guided India to a total of 327. During his exuberant innings, the right-hander also stitched up crucial partnerships with his fellow batsmen. The stand-in vice-captain of India was adjudged Man of the Match for his stellar performance with the bat in the Centurion Test.
Reflecting on his performance, Rahul reckoned that it was all about grit and determination to win the Test match. The right-hand batsman further revealed that he have worked a little on his technique, and it gave a good result in the first Test match against South Africa.
"It was just grit and determination, I really wanted to get my team off a good start. The opening stand was crucial. It's been more about my mindset, I have worked a little bit on my technique, I worked really hard on my game when I was out of the team for a couple of years. It's all coming together now. The discipline I think is the biggest contributor. Virat just mentioned that our fast bowlers have shown great heart, not just today but over the last two-three years. It's still the first game of the series, we want to take this confidence into the series and win another Test in a few days' time," said Rahul after the match.
India will face South Africa in the second Test match, which is scheduled to begin on January 23 at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.