India rode on a clinical performances from both the batsmen and bowlers to beat South Africa by 203 runs in the India vs South Africa first Test in Vizag on Sunday. With the victory, India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series that marked the beginning of India's home Test season. The number one-ranked Test side consolidated their position at the top of the ICC Test Championship points table, which they have topped since a 2-0 clean sweep against the West Indies in the Caribbean last month.
Rohit Sharma, batting at the top of the order for the first time in Test cricket, was the biggest plus for India in the Vizag Test. He scored 176 and 127 runs in the two innings to help India post 502/7 and 323/4 and set a 395-run target for the visitors.
Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin made an impressive comeback to international cricket after missing the West Indies Tests. The 33-year-old off-spinner claimed seven wickets in the first innings and followed it up with a single scalp that helped him become the joint-fastest to reach 350 Test wickets.
Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock scored centuries to put some fight for South Africa, taking them to 431 in reply to India's first inning total of 502/7 declared.
However, Rohit extended the lead in the second innings with the help of another century at the top of the order. With two successive centuries, the limited-over vice-captain stamped his authority on the opening slot in the longest format as well.
Chasing a tough 395, South Africa lost Dean Elgar early and were reduced to 11/1 at stumps on Saturday.
On the final day, Ashwin removed overnight batsman Theunis de Bruyn for 10 to claim his 350th wicket in his 66th Test. Sri Lanka's legendary spinner Muralitharan, who retired in 2010, had also claimed 350 wickets in equal number of matches.
After that, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja took the centre stage. While fast bowler Shami claimed a his fifth five-wicket haul in Tests, Jadeja starred with four scalps, including an incredible caught and bowled dismissal.
After providing India an early breakthrough on the penultimate day, Jadeja struck thrice in an over but missed a maiden hat-trick and a five-wicket haul on Sunday.