EL­GAR, DE KOCK LEAD RIPOSTE

DJOKOVIC PUTS ON SHOW OF SUPREMACY AT JA­PAN OPEN WITH 6-1, 6-2 WIN OVER POUILLE | 29 Crack Tons To Keep The In­dian Bowlers At Bay In First Test EX-LIVER­POOL MAN­AGER RODGERS RE­TURNS TO AN­FIELD AS COACH OF LE­ICES­TER CITY | 28

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - JAC.Glad­[email protected] times­group.com Hun­dreds by Quin­ton de Kock in Tests. His first ton against In­dia is his sec­ond in 17 over­seas Tests - his first was 104 vs Aus­tralia in Ho­bart in Nov 2016.

Visakhapat­nam: It must be a one-off that three dif­fer­ent open­ers scored a cen­tury on the first three days of a Test. If Ro­hit Sharma and Mayank Agar­wal had lit up pro­ceed­ings on the first two days of the Test at the ACAVDCA Sta­dium, it was Dean El­gar’s turn on Fri­day.

In scor­ing his 12th Test cen­tury and his first against In­dia, the south­paw not only thwarted the In­dian at­tack on the third day af­ter he re­sumed at 27, but his 160 (287b; 18x4, 6x4) took South Africa from a per­ilous 39/3 to a com­fort­able 385/8. Quin­ton de Kock also joined the party, scor­ing his fifth Test cen­tury (111; 163b, 16x4, 6x2).

That the In­di­ans bowled like mil­lion­aires with 502/7 de­clared in the bank should take noth­ing away from the ef­fort of the 32-year-old opener from Free State prov­ince, as his two cen­tury part­ner­ships with skip­per Faf du Plessis and de Kock made the In­dian at­tack look just as list­less as the in­ex­pe­ri­enced South African spin troika on the first two days.

Temba Bavuma was the only one to miss out on some runs. The Proteas came out with a plan to cen­tre their bat­ting around El­gar and ex­e­cuted it well, with du Plessis and de Kock play­ing stel­lar sup­port roles in keep­ing the In­dian at­tack at bay.

Bavuma was trapped in front by an Ishant Sharma de­liv­ery that jagged back in, but In­dia’s joy was short-lived as El­gar and du Plessis (55; 103b, 8x4, 6x1) took South Africa to lunch at 153 for four. Their 115-run fifth-wicket part­ner­ship put South Africa on a sound foot­ing and El­gar con­sol­i­dated his team’s po­si­tion by reach­ing his cen­tury in 175 de­liv­er­ies in the com­pany of de Kock, as the duo re­alised 164 for the sixth wicket.

That the South African in­nings was laced with 48 bound­aries and seven sixers – El­gar and de Kock reached the mile­stone with a six each — is an in­di­ca­tion of the way the vis­it­ing side dom­i­nated the In­dian at­tack, which was to­tally off-colour. It didn’t help that bar­ring the morn­ing ses­sion, they bowled only in short bursts.

The sec­ond new ball was taken af­ter 80 overs and made lit­tle dif­fer­ence to the South Africans. The two left­handers played well within them­selves but wasted no op­por­tu­nity to score. And score they did, at a fre­netic pace, with Ash­win and Jadeja leak­ing more than a hun­dred runs each.

It took a splen­did catch from Chetesh­war Pu­jara – run­ning in from the mid-wicket fence – to give Jadeja his 200th Test wicket, but he could’ve got to the mile­stone much ear­lier had Wrid­dhi­man Saha not re­prieved El­gar when the bats­man was on 74.

The opener had done well to foil In­dian de­signs in the com­pany of de Kock as South Africa added 139 runs in 37 overs be­tween lunch and tea. The ‘rough’ Ke­shav Ma­haraj was so wary of on Thurs­day hardly came into play

It was a bril­liant counter by the South African bats­men, who were not afraid to go down the wicket to negate the In­dian spin­ners. The vis­i­tors have, in­ci­den­tally, hired the ser­vices of Amol Muzum­dar as bat­ting coach. The spin­ners apart, Vi­hari and Ro­hit Sharma were tried too. Dean El­gar’s cen­turies’ tally is the third high­est by a bats­man who started his Test ca­reer with a pair, be­hind Gra­ham Gooch (20) & Mar­van Ata­p­attu (16).

El­gar made a pair on de­but vs Aus­tralia in Perth in 2012-13.

D El­gar c Pu­jara b Jadeja 160, A Markram b Ash­win 5, TB de Bruyn c Saha b Ash­win 4, D

Piedt b Jadeja 0, T Bavuma lbw Ishant 18, F du Plessis c Pu­jara b Ash­win 55, Q de Kock b Ash­win 111, S Muthusamy (bat­ting) 12, V Phi­lan­der b Ash­win 0, K Ma­haraj (bat­ting) 3. lb4, nb5) Ravin­dra Jadeja is the tenth In­dian bowler to reach 200 Test wick­ets. He has taken 44 Tests, the quick­est by a left-arm bowler. Over­all, he is the sec­ond-quick­est In­dian bowler af­ter Ash­win (37).

Play­ing in In­dia is very tough. The last time I was here, I was very in­ex­pe­ri­enced. In these four years, I have grown a lot as a crick­eter. I have played county cricket with Sur­rey, which has helped. You need to de­fend well against spin­ners, be­cause then you give your­self the best chance of at­tack­ing.”

—Dean El­gar

Sixes hit by open­ers in the on­go­ing Vizag Test, a world record. THE OP­PO­SI­TION STANDS TALL: South Africa’s Quin­ton de Kock sur­vives a run-out at­tempt by wick­et­keeper Wrid­dhi­man Saha in Vizag on Fri­day is the sec­ond South African wick­et­keeper to post a cen­tury against In­dia. The first was AB de Villiers (103 in Jo­han­nes­burg in Dec 2013). In­dia (1st In­nings): 502/7 decl South Africa (1st In­nings): Ex­tras: (b8, 17; To­tal: (8 wkts, 117 overs): 385; FoW: 1-14, 2-31, 3-34, 4-63, 5-178, 6-164, 7-370, 8-376; Bowl­ing: Ishant 14-2-44-1, Shami 15-3-40-0, Ash­win 41-11128-5, Jadeja 37-4-116-2, Vi­hari 9-1-38-0, Ro­hit 2-1-7-0

EL­GAR

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