Indian commentator and analyst Harsha Bhogle hailed Indian speedster Mohammad Shami for picking three scalps in the first session on Day five and said that he would not be surprised if Ishant Sharma also had a role to play. The Indian bowling attack has been in top form at home with spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja leading the charge. Mohammad Shami joined the ranks of Ashwin and Jadeja on Day five with his three scalps. Harsha Bhogle was also of the opinion that India had more bowlers to turn to as opposed to the stereotype of lack of bowlers in the national side. South Africa are chasing a target of 395 runs and are battling to bat it out as they have lost half their side to the brutal Indian bowling attack.
How good has Shami been today. Has hit the stumps three times. India has so many bowlers to turn to now. Won't be surprised if even Ishant has a role to play— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 6, 2019
India's premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday became the joint-fastest to take 350 wickets, matching Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralitharan's feat in his 66th Test. R Ashwin, who had taken his 27th five-wicket haul in the first innings of the opening Test against South Africa, castled Theunis de Bruyn with one that turned back sharply from wide outside the off-stump for his milestone wicket on day five here. The 33-year-old took just five balls to provide India the breakthrough in the morning session with South African chasing an improbable target of 395 runs. The wily off-spinner has answered his critics with a stellar show in the first Test of the home season. Ashwin, who played his first international game since December 2018, warmed the bench in the two-Test series in the West Indies in August-September with Ravindra Jadeja being the preferred choice. Ahead of the first Test, skipper Virat Kohli had said that Ashwin remains India's go-to spinner in home conditions.
India had South Africa on the mat at 63/4 but fighting centuries from opener Dean Elgar (160) and Quinton de Kock (111) resurrected the Proteas innings and some decent contributions from lower down the order helped the visitors get to 431 as India only managed to get a 71-run lead. Opening the innings for the hosts, Mayank Agarwal failed to make an impact this time around as he was dismissed for a 31-ball 7. However, Rohit Sharma was not distracted by the early setback and started going after the South African bowlers. He also found support in Cheteshwar Pujara as Sharma brought up his fifth century in the game's longest format and also a second straight ton i.e. one in each innings of a Test match. The Mumbai batsman was involved in a 169-run stand with Pujara for the second wicket. The Hitman was eventually dismissed for a 149-ball 127 a knock which involved 10 boundaries and seven maximums. He was stumped by Quinton de Kock off Keshav Maharaj.