Former South Africa skipper Shaun Pollock said that the key to the Virat Kohli-led Indian team’s success is a balanced bowling unit.
India registered a clinical victory by 113 runs on the final day of the first Test at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.
India beat South Africa by 113 runs and take 1-0 lead in the series
Despite South Africa skipper Dean Elgar’s stoic defence in the first session that gave the hosts a glimpse of hope that the game might turn in their favour. However, a buoyant Jasprit Bumrah got India the much-needed breakthrough as he trapped Elgar before the stumps for LBW.
Bumrah was supported by his long-time pace partner Mohammed Shami, who bagged the wickets of Wiaan Mulder and Marco Jansen to end with figures of 3/63.
Quinton de Kock showed some great intent with the bat as he drove Bumrah for a couple of boundaries straight down the ground. De Kock was knocked off by Mohammed Siraj before lunch.
Temba Bavuma, who was involved in a 136-run stand with his captain Elgar in the morning, was running short of partners on another end as Ravichandran Ashwin picked the last two wickets to give India a 1-0 lead.
India went with their four-pronged pace attack composed of Shami, Bumrah, Siraj and all-rounder Shardul Thakur. Ashwin played as the lone spinner in the team but only picked a couple of wickets in the game.
The balance in the bowling department is as good as we’ve seen: Shaun Pollock
Pollock credits India’s selection of playing four pace bowlers in South Africa as it maintains a balance for the bowling department and releases the workload.
“The key to this team is that we’ve often seen sides come here to South Africa but they haven’t had the third or fourth [fast] bowling option,” Pollock said on Cricbuzz.
“They might have taken the initial breakthrough but the backup seamers weren’t able to do the job. The spinners are obviously ineffective.
“The balance in the bowling department is as good as we’ve seen in this country.That’s why you guys have had the success; you can get those wickets and balance is the reason why you guys are going well,” he added.
India will play against South Africa in the second Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, the match starts on January 3.