April 12, 2008

Dhoni in Test Match #29: Day 1

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India vs South Africa, South Africa in India, 2008 - 3rd Test
Date: 11-13 April 2008

Day 1 (11 April 2008): Absorbing Battle Between Bat and Ball

South Africa won the toss and rightly chose to bat first on a track that assisted spin from the word go. No team would love to bat on the fifth day, if at all the match extends until then. At the end of the day, the South Africans were restricted to a challenging first innings total of 265. There is no necessity for India to bat as the South Africans were bowled out only in the 88th over of the day.

The bowling department, strengthened by the inclusion of Ishant Sharma, did perform well in helpful conditions. Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan Singh took three wickets each. Chawla picked two wickets while the part-timers Yuvraj Singh and Sehwag picked up a wicket each.

At one stage, it didn't look as good for India. The South Africans were comfortably positioned at 152 for 1. The opening pair of Graeme Smith and McKenzie put on 61 runs. That followed with confident half centuries from Smith and Amla. The Indians slowly and steadily clawed their way back in the post-tea session.

India made three changes to the team that lost the second test match. Ishant Sharma replaced the unimpressive R.P.Singh, Piyush Chawla stepped in for unfit Kumble and Yuvraj Singh came in for Irfan Pathan.

1st Innings:
South Africa 265 (Smith 69, Amla 51, Harbhajan Singh 3 for 52, Ishant Sharma 3 for 55)

Dhoni became the first wicket-keeper to captain the Indian test team. Dhoni was given the captaincy as the regular test captain Anil Kumble was declared unfit. With this, Dhoni has captained in all forms of the game, Test match, One Day International and Twenty20


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