Team India faced a heavy defeat at the hands of South Africa in the opening Test of the two-match series. The side was bowled out for merely 131, thus conceding an innings-and-32-run loss in Centurion. Barring Virat Kohli (76 off 82 balls), no other batter stepped up for the visitors in the second innings; in the first, KL Rahul had smashed an impressive 101 but lacked support from the other end, as India were bowled out for 245. South Africa, meanwhile, put in a strong 408, with stand-in skipper Dean Elgar smashing 185.
India’s batting units have largely struggled in the Rainbow Nation, making it one of the most challenging places in the red-ball format for the side. It comes as no surprise that India have failed to clinch a Test series in South Africa so far. Sachin Tendulkar, however, is one batter who has scored four Test centuries in five tours to the country. Former Proteas pacer and bowling legend Allan Donald, while speaking in detail about India’s poor outing in the first Test, made a significant remark on Tendulkar’s achievements on South African soil.
“Only person I know who played us well was Tendulkar, who triggered (had a trigger movement) while batting in South Africa rather than stand on middle-stump. He pressed forward and left the ball amazingly well,” Donald told PTI.
Sachin Tendulkar is among the only two batters (the other being Wally Hammond of England) to score over a thousand runs in South Africa in Tests. With 1161 runs in 15 Tests, he is the second-highest run-getter in the Rainbow Nation; Tendulkar has five centuries and three fifties in South Africa.
Following India’s poor batting performances, Donald also had an advice for the visiting team’s batters.
“If you leave the ball well here, you can score runs. You got to get bowlers to come to you and search a little bit more. They start coming to you, the opportunities of scoring get better.
It’s an interesting phenomenon as it’s tough to bat. In Cape Town though, it will be a very good Test pitch. It will flatten out quickly, so you need to work very hard.”
The second and final test of the series will begin on January 3 in Johannesburg. The Indian Test team will, then, return to action with a five-Test home series against England.