India's Day One tormentor Dean Elgar slams Mohali Test pitch despite claiming 4-22 for South Africa
Mohali: Dean Elgar was the unlikely bowling hero for South Africa as the tourists skittled India for 201 on the opening day of the first Test in Mohali yesterday.
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South Africa's Dean Elgar bowls during Day One of the first Test against India at Mohali yesterday. Pic/AFP
The part-time left-arm spinner, who had managed just six wickets in 17 previous Tests, grabbed four for 22 runs on the dry, dusty pitch which he later described as not being good for cricket. South Africa were themselves reduced to 9-2 in reply before ending an eventful day's play on 28 without further loss.
Elgar slammed the wicket as one that teams would usually encounter on the fourth day of a Test despite recording his best-ever Test figures.
"It is not a good cricket pitch but it is wicket that will produce a result either way," he said. "We sort of expected it to play like that but we didn't expect it to crumble the way it already has. It was right up there with the hardest ever Test cricket I've played. Let's hope that it can backfire (on India) and turn out to be a great victory for us."
SA's great start
South Africa claimed three wickets in the morning session after India won the toss. The first wicket fell before a run had been scored when Shikhar Dhawan hung his bat out to a swinging ball from Vernon Philander and edged a catch to Amla at first slip. Cheteshwar Pujara and Vijay retrieved the situation with a 63-run partnership for the second wicket when Elgar stepped up with the ball and, an over later, with a low catch to make it 65-3.
Elgar trapped Pujara leg-before for 31. Four balls later, Elgar dived in the covers to remove Indian captain Virat Kohli for one on his 27th birthday also giving debutant fast bowler Kagiso Rabada his first Test wicket.
India, who went to lunch at 82-3, were set back once again by Elgar who took two wickets off successive deliveries spread over two overs to reduce the hosts to 102-5. Both Ajinkya Rahane (15) and Wriddhiman Saha (0) were snapped up by Amla in the slips. Elgar claimed his fourth wicket when Amit Mishra holed out to Dale Steyn in the deep.