Proteas

Centurion wicket playing into Indian hands?

Ravichandran Ashwin (Gallo)
Ravichandran Ashwin (Gallo)

Cape Town - South Africans know Ravichandran Ashwin all too well. 

One the Proteas' 2015 tour to India, the lanky off-spinner claimed a staggering 31 wickets across those four Test matches. 

The Indian conditions undoubtedly gave Ashwin the biggest assist possible, but there are a number of Proteas batsmen who played in that tour who will remember perishing to Ashwin. 

With spin naturally India's biggest weapon on home soil, Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis made it clear in the build-up to the second Test at Centurion that the less the wicket offered the spinners, the better it would be for his side.

A day into the Test, it is safe to say that Du Plessis didn't get what he wanted. 

While the wicket is nothing like the dust bowls of India, it gave Ashwin enough to work with and he got through 31 overs on the opening day, claiming figures of 3/90 to easily emerge as India's most successful and most threatening bowler. 

Proteas legend Allan Donald took to Twitter after the day's play to say that he could not recall a spinner ever bowling that many overs on day one in South Africa. 

Ashwin, too, was surprised by the assistance he received. 

"Two days out from the game it looked like a game where we were going to play an all seam attack," he said after Saturday's play.

"Then we walked into the round yesterday (Friday) and it was white and all of the grass was coming off it.

"This morning we came to the ground and it looked like it was really flat and we had to have a spinner in the game.

"From my side I was happy that the grass was taken off, if not it would have been an all seam attack. 

"That's the way it goes."

The Proteas, meanwhile, have spinner Keshav Maharaj in their side.

@OfficialCSA Never have I seen a spinner bowling 31 overs on day one in SA. So much for pace and bounce. India stuck it out well today and have SA 269 for 6.

— Allan Donald (@AllanDonald33) January 13, 2018


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