Zee Media Bureau/Manushree Chaumal
Johannesburg: The first Test between India and South Africa had all the ingredients of a perfect Test match. The match like a pendulum tilted both ways and gave opportunities to both India and South Africa to register a win. We take a look at the top 5 defining moments of the match that carried the excitement till the last over, finally ending in a draw.
Cheteshwar Pujara - Virat Kohli`s partnership
Comparisons between Cheteshwar Pujara-Virat Kohli and Rahul Dravid-Sachin Tendulkar are imminent. The duo with their stellar partnership of 222 runs for the third wicket, with Pujara scoring 153 and Kohli scoring 96 runs, changed the course of the game and tilted it to India`s favour. Also, Virat Kohli would have been first cricketer to score a century in both innings of a Test at the Wanderers had he not fell to JP Duminy at 96 runs in the second innings.
Zaheer Khan`s comeback
That Zak would get his 300th wicket sooner or later was never a doubt, but when would he get it remained a question, considering his ever-changing place in the squad. He did complete the feat, when he got the wicket of Jacques Kallis at the Wanderers during the second innings, albeit on a controversial note. His impact on the young players was evident when Ishant Sharma credited his new found form to the veteran`s experience. Zaheer Khan became the fourth Indian bowler after Anil Kumble (619), Kapil Dev (434) and Harbhajan Singh (413) to complete 300 wickets or more in Tests.
Ishant Sharma`s four wicket haul in the first innings
Ishant Sharma`s place in the squad was being questioned ever since the tour began. But he silenced his critics, scalping four wickets for 79 runs in the first innings, helping India restrict the robust batting line-up of South Africa to 244 runs.
Faf du Plessis and AB de Villers` partnership
On day 5, when the Proteas side was having a tough time chasing a massive total of 458 runs, the partnership between Faf du Plessis and AB de Villers, came to their rescue. The duo scored 205 runs for the fifth wicket, helping South Africa take the Test close to a win. Had the team managed to chase the total, they would have become the first Test side in history to achieve the feat.
Ajinkya Rahane`s run outs
The Proteas side needed 16 off 20 balls to win the match. Faf du Plessis, at 134 was run out by Ajinkya Rahane, just at the right time for the Indians. Faf had played a crucial role in tilting the match to SA`s favour, and he could have taken them to a win, had Rahane not got him out. With his departure, Proteas` hopes of a win also weakened. In the same innings, Rahane had also run out the South African skipper Graeme Smith who was at 44 runs.