South Africa attain unique feat following satisfying performance on Day 3 of 1st Test vs India
Tottering at 39 for 3 at stumps on day two of the first Test between India and South Africa, in Visakhapatnam, many would have believed Proteas would fall like nine pins when play would resume on Friday (October 4). Nonetheless, it was a spirited effort from the visitors as they ended day three of the opening Test at 385 for 8; trailing India by 117 runs.
The recovery was well-led by centurions in the form of Quinton de Kock (111) and opener Dean Elgar (160) along with good support from skipper Faf du Plessis (55) as the visitors piled up 346 runs in the entire day and lost only five wickets in the process. Hence, they achieved a unique feat of posting most runs by them in a single day's play versus India in India.
The record for most runs by a visiting side, in a single day's play, versus India belongs to the West Indies, in 1974-75.
374 by Windies, Delhi 1974/75
366 by Sri Lanka, Mumbai 2009/10
362 by Australia, Nagpur 2004/05
359 by Windies, Kanpur 1958/59
351 by Sri Lanka, Bengaluru 1993/94
346 by South Africa, Vizag 2019/20
Standing tall against a rampant Indian bowling line-up seemed to be a tough ask for the South Africans on the eve of the third day's play. However, Elgar, de Kock and du Plessis led the resistance with composure and positive approach. As a result, runs came at regular intervals and derailed India's hold in the contest after Rohit Sharma (176) and Mayank Agarwal's (215) blitz in the first two days.
The pitch didn't have much support for the bowlers. While the odd-ball spun a bit and there was uneven bounce from time to time, the South Africans kept Indians at bay with a resolute approach. Elgar stitched an impressive 116-run stand for the fifth-wicket with du Plessis and later added another 164 runs, for the sixth wicket, with de Kock to keep his side in the contest.
Team India had something to cheer for courtesy Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin's individual heroics. While the latter attained his 27th five-for, fifth versus the Proteas, Jadeja became the fastest left-armer to 200 wickets in the format.