India-South Africa: Best bowling figures in an innings in India
- Steyn took 7/51 in 16.4 overs despite a 109-run knock by Sehwag in the first innings in Nagpur.
- Ashwin's fourth ten-wicket match haul broke South Africa's streak of 15 away trips without losing a series over a course of more than nine years.
- Srinath's 6/21 was his maiden five-wicket haul and he was on a hat-trick thrice in the innings.
You would in fact think that when it comes to bowling on the traditionally spin-friendly tracks in India, the list of best five bowling figures in India vs South Africa Tests should have mostly spinners on it right? Wrong.
In this list, we look at the top five best bowling figures in an innings in India-South Africa Tests in India, which is dominated by fast bowlers.
Lance Klusener: 8/64 in Kolkata (1996)
South Africa registered their first Test victory on Indian soil in the second Test of their maiden Test tour to India under the captaincy of Hansie Cronje. The South African victory was notched up in the second Test of the series on a green Eden Gardens pitch in Kolkata. Debutant Lance Klusener was the destroyer in chief, helping the Proteas bundle out the hosts for a paltry 137 in the second innings, thanks to a haul of 8/64 off 21.3 overs. The big hero for South Africa in the match with the bat meanwhile was Gary Kirsten, who hit centuries in both innings. The match is still remembered for the breathtaking assault by Mohammad Azharuddin on the Proteas bowlers in the first innings, with the highlight being the former Indian captain hitting five consecutive fours off Klusener in the course of his 109-run knock at his favourite ground. But that wasn't enough to save India from defeat, as chasing a 467-run target, the hosts were bundled out for 137 runs with Klusener running through the Indian batting line-up to give his team a huge 329-run win.
71369144Dale Steyn: 7/51 in Nagpur (2010)
After Hashim Amla's 253* and Jacques Kallis' 173 that powered South Africa to 558/6d, a rampaging Dale Steyn took 7/51 in 16.4 overs despite a 109-run knock by Virender Sehwag in the first innings. If Steyn was dangerous with the new ball, then he was lethal with the old one. And it was swing at good pace that made the decisive difference. Steyn first dismissed Murali Vijay and Sachin Tendulkar with the new ball. Sehwag had smashed the ball out of shape and Steyn used the changed ball to deadly effect in a four-over spell against an Indian batting line-up that was sorely missing Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. Steyn took 5/3 in 3.4 overs as India lost their last six wickets for just 12 runs and were made to follow-on. The hosts then crashed to an innings defeat despite Sachin Tendulkar's hundred in the second innings.
Ravichandran Ashwin: 7/66 in Nagpur (2015)
The third Test of the 2015 series lasted just three days and was played on a Jamtha Stadium pitch that had such turn and bounce that the International Cricket Council (ICC) had to give an official warning under its pitch monitoring process. When India batted first, South African Simon Harmer, one of three Protea spinners, took 4 wickets. But it was Ravichandran Ashwin who made full use of the turn and bounce on offer, grabbing 5/32 in the first innings and teaming up well with Ravindra Jadeja, who took 4/33 to bowl out South Africa for 79 runs. The pitch was so spin friendly that India played with only one specialist pacer in Ishant Sharma who bowled only two overs in the first innings. Ashwin only bettered his stellar display with the ball in the second innings picking up 7/66 off 29.5 overs to hand India an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-Test series after a 124-run victory. For the record, this was Ashwin's fourth ten-wicket match haul and broke South Africa's streak of 15 away trips without losing a series over a course of more than nine years.
Harbhajan Singh: 7/87 in Kolkata (2004)
Harbhajan Singh's 7/87 in the second innings of the Eden Test in 2004 took India to a comfortable eight-wicket victory and a 1-0 series win in the two-Test series. Harbhajan took two wickets in the first innings but they were of the tailenders. The South African batsmen had no answer to his guile and flight as Harbhajan exploited a steadily deteriorating pitch on Day 4 and 5, to help keep the target for India down to 117. Harbhajan, who completed his fourth five-wicket haul in five innings at the Eden Gardens, was ably partnered by Anil Kumble who took 3/82 in the second innings to equal Kapil Dev's Indian record of 434 Test wickets, in 41 fewer matches. Rahul Dravid (47*) and Sachin Tendulkar (32*) then took India to victory after lunch on Day 5.
Javagal Srinath: 6/21 in Ahmedabad (1996)
In the first match of Sachin Tendulkar's maiden full Test series as captain in 1996, South Africa were chasing a 170-run target and India were playing three specialist spinners in Anil Kumble, Sunil Joshi and Narendra Hirwani. But it was the pace of Javagal Srinath that rocked the Proteas on a pitch unsuitable for free strokeplay. The visitors were bundled out for 105 runs. In a devastating spell, Srinath took 6/21 in just 11.5 overs, even as South African captain Hansie Cronje waged a lone battle staying unbeaten on 48. But he could only watch helplessly as the rest of the batsmen succumbed to the Indian pace spearhead. This was Srinath's maiden five-wicket haul and he was on a hat-trick thrice in the innings. So meek was South Africa's surrender that four out of the six of Srinath's victims failed to get off the mark, as the match ended in four days at the Motera with India winning by 64 runs.