South Africa gun fast bowler Kagiso Rabada reckons the game is in the balance after the Proteas were able to skittle out India at a below-par score of 223 runs in the first innings of the third Test match at Newlands, Cape Town on Tuesday.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to bat first but the Indian batters could not come up with a collective effort.
Kohli was the stand-out batsman for the Indian team as he scored a fine knock of 79 runs, which was full of patience as he faced a total of 201 balls to score his runs. However, Kohli didn’t receive support from the other end as the middle-order once again could not get going.
In fact, almost all the Indian batters got off to a start but could not convert their score into a big one. On the other hand, Kagiso Rabada was the pick of the South African bowlers as returned with impressive figures of 4-73. Rabada accounted for Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah as he bowled at the top of his mark.
Rabada continuously troubled the Indian batters and his contest against Virat Kohli was one for the ages.
Meanwhile, despite dismissing India at 223, Rabada feels the game is still in the balance as he feels the South African batters will need to bat well on a difficult pitch.
“The game is in the balance. Obviously, we would have liked to win the toss. But we did well to restrict them for 223 but we are going to have to bat well.”
Speaking about the conditions, he stated: “There’s still quite a bit in that wicket. We don’t have any control over the conditions. It looks like a perfect Test wicket where batters have to grind. I think it’s not going to change much tomorrow.”
Rabada was happy with his own performance as he bowled a fine spell and feels things went his way.
“Very seldom you get a perfect day. I had a good day and things went my way. Generally, what we try to do is to be consistent as possible going into every game. Just tried to do the same things, nothing changes. Today things went my way I think I’m feeling good about the way I bowled. I was feeling decent out there.”
On the other hand, Rabada also heaped praise on Virat Kohli for scoring a gutsy knock of 79 runs. The ace paceman admitted that Kohli batted extremely well.
“The plan was to bowl good line and length. It was pretty obvious to try to swing away as he was going out that way. He was very patient at leaving the ball. He batted extremely well, well done to him.”
South Africa will begin the second day at 17-1.