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SA vs IND, Cape Town: Years pass, India’s old tail collapse continues with South Africa’s twice batting

When one talks about SA vs IND, the whole excitement gets better when they reach Cape Town. The Newlands is a great venue to enjoy cricket, seating on the grass bank, with the table mountain behind the ground giving it a different feel. Since it was a hot day, as a spectator you would feel thirsty and go outside for a nice drink.

When you left, your eyes saw India 153/4; you came back with the drink only to see Dean Elgar coming out to bat for the second time in the day with Aiden Markram.

Cricket in Cape Town is always both fun and funny

It was just the kind of day. Barely one would believe. If you are an India cricket fan, then you won’t feel 2023 has passed away, specially after watching India’s tail losing six wickets for 0 runs. The lesson for their fans are very simple- Don’t turn away, when India is batting in SENA countries these days.

Tristian Stubbs made his debut for the Proteas. It’s kind of a wonder how would be describe the day in the next 50 years. Aiden Markram would tell somebody that he was not out at the end of the day, after South Africa opted to bat. Hold on! Markram should be on 150* then; but no, he was on 36, because of his second innings batting.

The beautiful Newlands
©- RevSportz/ Twitter

Dean Elgar would hardly imagine to bat twice in day and got out the same number of times in a span of seven hours to end his Test career. Some one who loves to spend time in the middle, felt his farewell finished like a whisker. Brain Charles Lara would share him the same feeling.

But that was Cape Towns. As Vernon Philander was mentioning that 2011 Test at this ground where Australia got a lead of nearly 200 runs. And South Africa from the rock bottom got a win by eight wickets. Expect something similar!

Siraj and his customary rhythmic spell of fire

When Mohammad Siraj was bowling and getting those wickets just like he was planning, for a moment the mind was going back to Adelaide in 2020. That day the bats were made of edges, everything India hit got an outside or inside edge and no fielder dropped a single one.

It was just the kind of day Siraj dreamt, and he delivered. Aiden Markram was Siraj’s first, like he was in Centurion. Unlike the first Test, India went with the short ball strategy against Elgar from the start and it wasn’t meant to get him out in that fashion but to make him feel weird.

And the shot he got out, chopped on to the stumps, happened only because of his backfoot was pinned on the crease and his hands went a beaming smash to a wide delivery. Tony de Zorzi was his lucky charm down the leg side.

But this spell was about energy. On a hot day at Newlands, the pacers generally loses the intent after a while, but not for Siraj. It was just six months ago, when he showed that feature in that Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka. The moment he got his six, Rohit Sharma kind of had to snatch the ball of Siraj and asked the bowled to have breathe. Did Rohit know what we didn’t?

Siraj takes 6/15
©- RevSportz/ Twitter
Rohit+ Gill+ Kohli= 121, Rahul 8, and Rest got 0*6

That’s the equation. Seven batters got out for ducks; the last man stood there undismissed on a diamond duck. Leaving Yashasvi Jaiswal, none of these ducks lasted for more than three balls. And then the fourth highest run getter of India’s first innings batting was the extras (24).

By the time Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma was batting in the middle, mostly keeping their weight for the boundaries, it felt so easy to score those runs. By the time Kohli joined them and moved to 12* in five balls, it felt India could and would take a decent lead. But what’s a decent lead? 98 runs? That’s enough for this track.

But then Kohli and Rahul reached 153/4, and Rahul was dismissed. Ravindra Jadeja was dismissed. Jasprit Bumrah followed the same track as did Virat. Siraj went for a Usain Bolt run, and found short of the crease. Krishna guided the ball to the slips, and India ended with triple WOWs!

But who won the battle at the end?

Positive and negative both were the words one could use for India in the Test. How grumpy Siraj would feel to get out there with his bat, three and half hours since his 6/15 and then coming out with his bowling shoes on!

There were certain conversations in versatile social handles about the pitch and how bad it was. I generally try to keep me away from these sort of discussion. They are partially right about saying that just like the two-day Test tracks in India got negative points in Ahmedabad in 2021, these one too deserved to get one.

But what surprises me was that all these conversation stated when India was bundled out! SA would think of their 55, and what went wrong!

SA vs IND, Centurion: A Protea tour and a new check point

It was just couple of days back when they announced their school boy squad for the New Zealand tour, keeping the franchise league SA20 in mind firmly. There were different groups, one was trying save Test Cricket and couldn’t trust what SA did. These are basically from Australia, India and England- because they never felt the lacking in the financial department.

The other group was supporting it with a reason of how the SA20 is saving their cricket and engaging the crowd, and making their board stable. Here I am seating in the third tree, and wondering could they push the SA20 a little bit, or requested India to come early or start the series with Tests and go to NZ for the Boxing day and New Year’s Test. Had they planned and structured the whole tour putting Test cricket ahead, the whole scenario would have been different.

It was New Zealand who changed their cricket after that 45 all-out in 2013, now will it be the exchange offer? But first they have an unfinished job to complete! Beat India and give Elgar a fitting farewell, and then there is India looking draw their first Test series in SA since 2010.

Hey, but where is the third Test? Oh, they didn’t bother to have that one! And you thought they care about this format!

That Mad Writer
Author: That Mad Writer

Someone who loves how Steve Smith from being Australia's future Shane Warne has become present Don Bradman, gets inspired by Anderson's longevity, gets awed with Kohli's drive and Southee's bowling action. Never gets excited with stats and records, and believes in instincts, and always questions spinners bowling with the new ball.

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