Ravichandran Ashwin three wickets were the turning point for team India

Rohit Sharma

It was also the turning point in his career.

Ashwin also credited his county stint at England for being able with more patience here. Previously, how he bowled outside Asia suggested a nagging lack of belief.

Two balls later, de Kock edged Ashwin to India captain Virat Kohli at slip, with Kohli setting off on a vigorous celebration that took him right to the other end of the pitch. The surface at SuperSport Park was nothing like that, however, with slow bowler Ashwin the one to profit on the opening day.

Two more wickets fell in the next 14 balls. My only intent was to try and keep it in a particular spot.

Courtesy these three wickets India crawled back to share the honours in what otherwise looked like South Africa's day.

Off-spinner R Ashwin revealed on Saturday (January 13) that the unanticipated conditions at SuperSport Park in Centurion forced the team to make the last-minute changes.

One the Proteas' 2015 tour to India, the lanky off-spinner claimed a staggering 31 wickets across those four Test matches. "It was a kind of hit on my professional pride and from there on I knew I had to work on certain things", he said.

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Even while Ashwin, the red-ball bowler, is continuing to add to his laurels, Ashwin, the white-ball bowler, finds himself superfluous to India's requirements. Amla went after Ishant's wide delivery on the leg stump but coulnd't connect it properly. While the plan didn't succeed straightaway, it sowed seeds of doubts in Amla, who was otherwise particularly severe against Moeen Ali during the last English summer.

Ashwin grabbed three wickets on Day 1 as South Africa reached 269/6 at the close of play with Faf du Plessis and Keshav Maharaj at the crease.

It will not get any easier for the southpaw as the pitch at Centurion is expected to be a bit more bouncy. It is unlikely the Indian team will ever get such a wicket in South Africa again. It was clearly a lucky wicket for the visitors as Elgar jumped down the track and hit the ball straight at Vijay who somehow managed to hold onto that one after it hit his body. My first-class team mates would advice that I have to develop a lot of patience and hearing those things from them was definitely a reality check for me. In sport such things happen. "I was prepared to go", he said.

That took South Africa from 246/3 to 251/6, and what should have been a dominant day at the office became one that India will be more satisfied with. "I am happy with the wicket". It was very much like the session that Gautam (Gambhir) and I played out in 2011. The trio played 360 balls scoring 181 runs among them during the course of both innings in the first test. I have played a lot of four-day games.

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

Gavaskar said: "I think Shikhar Dhawan is the "Bali ka Bakra" (scapegoat)".

"As far as the opening combination goes, we will decide today at the end of practice what is it that we are going to go within this game".

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