This week’s triple-century stand between Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal was reminiscent of what Proteas pair Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla amassed against India nine years ago.
Captain Graeme Smith’s decision to bat first after winning the toss in 2010’s series opener at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium didn’t yield early reward. Smith and fellow opener Ashwell Prince fell to seamer Zaheer Khan inside the opening seven overs.
Kallis and Amla then combined for a 340-run alliance of historic proportion. Kallis collected 173 to Amla’s 253 not out, as an opposition bowling attack lined with three spinners sweated in the Nagpur heat. The prolific right-handers shared 37 fours and two sixes.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra bowled a marathon 53 of the 176 overs, with India in the field for over 11 hours and a final total of 558-6 declared.
Kallis was eventually caught by short-leg fielder Murali Vijay off the bowling of spinner Harbhajan Singh, leaving half-centurion AB de Villiers and later wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher to continue the charge alongside Amla.
The partnership is South Africa’s sixth highest in Test cricket. It’s still their largest against India, having surpassed the 256 gathered by Kallis and fellow right-hander Herschelle Gibbs in Ahmedabad in 2008.
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