South Africa vs India, 1st Test - Live Cricket Score, Commentary

Series: India tour of South Africa, 2023-24 Venue: SuperSport Park, Centurion Date & Time: Dec 26-Dec 2810:00 AM LOCAL
RSA 408
IND 245 & 131
South Africa won by an innings and 32 runs
Dean Elgar

Insert Spiderman meme here to summarize what the Indian dressing room might be feeling like at this point. The bowlers might be pointing fingers at the batters, and the batters would ask why Elgar and Jansen were allowed to score so freely? But the truth is that the Indians were outclassed by a team much more in sync and readiness for the conditions. So the dream of the final frontier wages on, as we bid thee farewell and best wishes for the New Year. This is Saurabh Shankar signing off on behalf of Praveen Kumar.

Dean Elgar | Player of the Match: Pretty special knock. Sometimes what we want to do hasn't worked out as plans, but happy that it worked today. I think you need to keep things nice and simple, the game is already pretty complex. Focus on the ball, play nice and straight. Play late and be great. You got to ride the roller when it is in your favour. Good partnerships with Tony, and then Jansen showed his talent as well. You need fast bowlers and a spinner potentially to take 20 wickets, that's how we win Test matches. KG was brilliant, but then Nandre showed why he has been such a shining light for South African cricket. First few days were overcast, and close to a sellout. Crowds don't need much motivation to come out and watch their cricket or rugby in Pretoria. You can't win a 2 Test series if you don't win the first one, the Indians are difficult to beat. We'll have a few days out to relax and enjoy this. We were pretty clinical, our fielding wasn't the best and we didn't make it too easy for ourselves at times.

Rohit Sharma: We were not good enough to win. Having been put into bat, KL batted well to get us that score but then we didn't exploit the conditions with the ball and then again didn't show up today with the bat. If we have to win Test matches, we have to come together collectively and we didn't do that. Guys have come here before, we know what to expect and everyone has their own plan. Our batters were challenged and we didn't adapt well. This is a boundary scoring ground, we saw them score many but we need to understand the opposition and their strengths as well. We didn't bat well in both innnings, that's why we stand here. Not too many positives to finish the game within 3 days, but KL showed what we need to do on this sort of pitch. Our bowlers, a lot of these guys haven't been here before so I don't want to be too critical. Important for us to regroup, we go through these times as sportsmen and we need to be ready for the next Test now.

Stats courtesy Deepu Narayanan

South Africa seamers making Test debut vs India in Centurion
2018: Lungi Ngidi 1/51 & 6/39
2021: Marco Jansen 1/69 & 4/55
2023: Nandre Burger 3/50 & 4/33

11 wickets taken by left arm pacers is the joint-most in a Test for South Africa equalling Cape Town Test against England 100 years ago in Jan 1923.

Lowest aggregate by batters #5 & below for India in a Test innings
13 runs vs Pak Lahore 1984
15 runs vs Aus Kanpur 1979
16 runs vs SA Centurion 2023 *
20 runs vs WI Kanpur 1958
21 runs vs Aus Adelaide 2020

Innings & 32 runs defeat for India
- First under Rohit Sharma's captaincy
- Only the third since the start of 2015
- First against SA since Jan 2011

India - last five Tests in SENA countries
Lost by 7 wkts vs SA Joburg 2022
Lost by 7 wkts vs SA Cape Town 2022
Lost by 7 wkts vs Eng Birmingham 2022
Lost by 209 runs vs Aus The Oval 2023
Lost by an innings & 32 runs vs SA Centurion 2023

The Test started with India losing wickets in heaps, as Rabada and debutant Nandre Burger troubled them with their seam movement. KL Rahul countered with a magnificent hundred, as he helped India get to 245 in the first innings. In reply, South Africa lost Markram early but de Zorzi and Elgar blunted out the new ball. The hosts then capitalised on some pedestrian bowling from Shardul and Prasidh, as Elgar notched up his first hundred at Centurion, and made that a daddy hundred. He was supported by Bedingham and Jansen, both of whom both fifties with the latter scoring his highest-ever Test score. Having amassed a lead of 163, the game was always slipping away from India and Rabada made sure to spell the death knell to the visitors. Rohit fell for a duck, and four of the top seven fell for single digits as Nadre Burger shone in the second innings. India's only fighter in the second innings was Kohli, but what can even a king do when his soldiers lack the ammunition or the stomach for a fight? South Africa's bowlers used the pitch in a way the Indians can only sit back and learn from, as they capitulated within 35 overs in the second innings. Hang around for the presentations...

17:03 Local Time, 15:03 GMT, 20:33 IST: All over. For all the hype around India potentially breaching their final frontier, they have actually been bamboozled within three days. And they have been bruised, they have been battered, they have been outclassed and made to look like amateurs by a team much better equipped for the conditions. South Africa were considered the inexperienced team in this contest, hamstrung further by the injury to Temba Bavuma, but their new boys played with great maturity and discipline to outclass the top-ranked Test side. A well deserved win and they keep India dreaming on their prospects of winning in the rainbow nation.


Marco Jansen to Kohli, out Caught by Rabada!! That's the end!! A back of length straight delivery that Kohli dances out and slashes straight over the bowler. Felt like it would land safe but Rabada from long-on runs in and flies to his left like Superman to pluck one out of thin air. A superhero like performance from the Proteas, they claim the first Test by an innings and 32 runs. Kohli c Rabada b Marco Jansen 76(82) [4s-12 6s-1]

Marco Jansen to Kohli, THATS OUT!! Caught!!

Marco Jansen [7.0-1-36-2] is back into the attack


Nandre Burger to Prasidh, no run, full outside off, wobbling away. Past the outside edge of Prasidh


Nandre Burger to Prasidh, no run, full and skids onto the pads. A half appeal but sliding down leg


Nandre Burger to Kohli, leg byes, 1 run, length balll cutting across onto the pads, deflects towards backward point and India take a leg bye


Nandre Burger to Kohli, no run, back of length wobbling outside off, Kohli shuffles closer to slam across the line but the ball moves away


Nandre Burger to Kohli, FOUR, top shot!! Full delivery on off, Kohli dances out and hoists his drive straight enough to keep it to the right of Elgar who was positioned close to the boundary for this kind of shot


Nandre Burger to Kohli, FOUR, back of length angling outside off, Kohli walks out and slashes it square of the wicket. Gets a leading edge that fies over gully for a boundary

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