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Ravichandran Ashwin castles Aiden Markram with peach of a delivery

Ashwin was the man of the series the last time India played SA at home in 2015.

Ravichandran Ashwin's delivery
Ravichandran Ashwin’s delivery. (Photo Source: Twitter)

His future in Tests came under the scanner despite being India’s highest wicket-taker and the fourth overall highest with the red ball now. Ravichandran Ashwin hadn’t played in a Test match since December last year and with newcomers lining up, it looked the 33-year-old’s days were numbered. However, Ashwin eventually made it to the playing XI against South Africa in the first match in Visakhapatnam and he struck right away after India amassed 502 for 7 in their first innings and declared.

It was the first delivery of the eighth over of the South African innings when the off-spinner went through the defence of the talented Aiden Markram (5). He tossed the delivery up outside the off-stump and the batsman came forward to defend it. In the process of doing so, Markram left a slight gap between the bat and pad and the ball went through to disturb his timber.

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The flight that Ashwin produced to pick his 343rd Test wicket impressed the supporters and experts. The Proteas needed a good start to give India a competition but the early loss put immense pressure on the middle order.

SA falter after Indian openers take them to a big total

SA were 39/3 at the end of 2nd day’s play. Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma put up 317 runs for the first wicket in 82 overs with the former hitting a double hundred in his very first Test match at home. Rohit also made his Test claims strong by belting 176, only his fourth hundred in red-ball cricket that came after 27 matches.

Ashwin was the man of the series the last time India played South Africa at home in 2015. In the company of his old partner Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin picked 54 of the 70 wickets that the Proteas had lost. Ashwin himself had taken 31 of them as Virat Kohli-led Team India decimated the opponents 3-0 in a four-match series.

The ongoing series which features four matches is part of the ICC World Test Championship where India are leading the points table with 120 points following their 2-0 win over the West Indies. For South Africa, the ongoing game is their first Test of the WTC.

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