New Delhi: 35 of the 40 wickets in total fell to spinners in the first Test at Mohali between India and South Africa which concluded on Saturday. India beat the Proteas by 108 runs in a match that lasted less than three days.
Spinners from both sides bagged the limelight on the turning low pitch in Mohali as both sides struggled with the bat. Amongst all the batsmen Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara stood out and they need to be lauded for their effort.
Murali Vijay was the stand out player in the Mohali Test with knocks of 75 and 47 runs respectively. Vijay showed his experience and class on a bowling pitch. The opening batsman took his time in both innings and his patience paid off.
Vijay looked untroubled for most part of his innings to contribute towards India's total of 201 and 200 respectively. India's opening platform was a disaster in both innings as Vijay's partner Shikhar Dhawan faced a minor 15 balls in Mohali. Vijay continued though in sublime manner and showed why he is so vital in both home and away conditions.
Alongside Vijay was Cheteshwar Pujara, whose 77 runs in the second innings were very important for the team. Pujara played both the fast bowlers and spinners according to merit. Even in the first innings he got off to a very good start but fell midway through.
In both innings the duo were involved in partnerships to show patience and time plays a big factor in slow turning wickets. The duo's application against a formiddable looking South African bowling attack was a treat to the eye. It showed one can survive and score in any given pitch.
Their runs in the end were priceless for India.
At this moment both these batsmen look solid Test players and will be crucial to India's fortunes in the remaining three games.