India breach South Africa’s Centurion fortress and go 1-0 up

Brief scorecard: India 327/10 (KL Rahul 123, Mayank Agarwal 60, Ajinkya Rahane 48; Lungi Ngidi 6/72, Kagiso Rabada 3/71) and 174/10 (Rishabh Pant 34, Rahul 23; Rabada 4/42, Marco Jansen 4/55) beat South Africa 197/10 (Temba Bavuma 52, Quinton de Kock 34; Mohammed Shami 5/44, Jasprit Bumrah 2/16) and 191/10 (Dean Elgar 77, Bavuma 35*; Bumrah 3/50, Shami 3/63, Ravichandran Ashwin 2/18) by 113 runs

Statistical highlights of South Africa vs India 1st Test 2021

  • India became the first Asian team to beat South Africa a Test match at Supersport Park in Centurion, where they won the first Test by 113 runs and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
  • It was only India’s fourth Test win on South African soil in 21 matches between the teams.
  • After setting a stiff target of 305, India bowled out the home team for 191 just after lunch on day five to seal the win as Dean Elgar’s men failed to make 200 in either innings.
  • For India, the victory was set up by an excellent batting performance, led by KL Rahul, on day one after captain Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat first on a lively Centurion pitch.
  • Rahul continued his superb batting form with his seventh career Test hundred, a well-compiled 123, as he helped India post a 300-plus total in the first innings. It is now the highest Test score by an Indian opener in South Africa, surpassing Wasim Jaffer’s 116 in Cape Town on the 2007 tour. He was named the man-of-the-match as he aggregated 146 runs across two innings.
  • It was Rahul’s fifth century outside Asia, putting him only behind the legendary Sunil Gavaskar (15) in terms of Test centuries by Indian opening batsmen.
  • He shared a 117-run opening partnership with fellow Karnataka opener Mayank Agarwal (the third-highest by an Indian opening pair in the rainbow nation), an 83-run stand for the third wicket with Kohli, and a 79-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane.
  • Mohammed Shami was the star with the ball for India as he became the fifth Indian pacer—after Kapil Dev, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, and Javagal Srinath—to take 200 wickets in Test cricket.
  • His five-wicket haul in South Africa’s first innings helped India grab a 130-run lead and move into a position of dominance. It was his sixth five-for in Tests. He finished with match figures of 33-8-107-8 and earned high praise from captain Kohli, who said: “He’s easily among the best three seamers in the world right now.”
  • Jasprit Bumrah became the fastest Indian to reach 100 wickets in overseas Tests—reaching the feat in 23 matches.
  • South Africa handed a debut to left-arm pacer Marco Jansen, who became the nation’s 349th Test cricketer. Having struggled for control in India’s first innings, Jansen returned excellent figures of 13.3-4-55-4 in the second as he helped the home side bowl India out for 174.
  • The victory was India’s 40th in Tests under Kohli, who also became the first Asian captain to win two Boxing Day Tests (Centurion 2021 and Melbourne 2018).