India vs South Africa: Steyn’s Nagpur tornado headlines top 5 bowling spells in bilateral series
Tackling spin against India has always been a tough task for the visiting teams. The domination from Indian spinners saw them lose just one Test in 2016/17 home season, where they played 13 Tests. The only blip came against Australia, where the visiting spinners overpowered the Indian bowlers. Going into India-South Africa Test series, spin will again play a key role in deciding the course of the series. Not that pacers will have no role as seamers from the both the countries have produced match winning spells on Indian soil in the past. Before South Africa are put into a spin test by India, here’s a look at top five bowling performances in India-South Africa Tests in India -
Lance Klusener (8/64 in Kolkata) - The former South Africa all-rounder made a memorable Test debut that led the Proteas to their maiden victory on Indian soil. After dominating the proceedings in the first three innings of the Test, South Africa asked India to chase 467. Klusener led the pace attack and scalped eight wickets to skittle India for 137 in 53.3 overs. Gary Kirsten bagged the Man of the Match award for his twin centuries in the historic win.
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Dale Steyn (7/51 in Nagpur) - On a pitch where Indian bowlers just managed six wickets in 176 overs, Steyn recorded his best figures in an innings. He dented team India’s rhythm with wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and Murali Vijay and returned to dismiss the lower-order and tailenders cheaply. He scalped three more wickets when India batted again while following on and recorded a 10-for in South Africa’s innings and six run-win.
R Ashwin (7/66 in Nagpur) - Spinners from both the sides made merry on a turning Nagpur track and pouched 33 wickets. Ashwin, who scalped a five-for in the first innings, followed up with seven wickets when South Africa were chasing 310. ICC took the note of the nature of the pitch and the Nagpur track received an official warning from the apex board.
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Harbhajan Singh (7/87 in Kolkata) - Three years after Harbhajan took a hat-trick in India’s historic triumph over Australia in 2001, he came up with yet another stellar performance at Eden Gardens. With a spell of 30-3-87-7 in South Africa’s second innings, Harbhajan played a key role in dismissing SA for 222. His heroics saw India needing 117 runs to win, which the hosts chased with eight wickets in hand.
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Javagal Srinath (6/21 in Ahmedabad) - The right-arm pacer was India’s leads bowler across formats. His spell of 6/21 in India’s win over South Africa back in 1996 is considered to one of the best in history. Asked to chase down 170, South Africa would have hoped to chase the target with ease but Srinath removed their openers on a duck. He continued his magic and scalped four more wickets to lead India to a win in the opening Test. He was well assisted by Anil Kumble, who snared three wickets.