South Africa rolled for 55 as India’s Mohammed Siraj runs riot on day one of second Test

Indian bowler Mohammed Siraj engineered an extraordinary South African batting collapse as the hosts were bowled out for 55 before lunch on the first day of the second Test at Newlands on Wednesday.

Siraj took a career-best six for 15, bowling unchanged for nine overs as South Africa’s decision to bat first backfired spectacularly.

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It was South Africa’s lowest total since they were bowled out for 36 and 45 against Australia in Melbourne in 1931/32.

Stand-in South African captain Dean Elgar, playing in his last Test, stressed the need for his team to start well as they defend a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

But it was India who controlled the morning’s play on a pitch which offered bounce and seam movement.

Siraj exploited the conditions superbly, with none of the batsmen looking comfortable against him.

He started South Africa’s collapse when he had Aiden Markram caught at second slip for two in his second over.

He followed up by bowling Elgar for four in his next over.

Jasprit Bumrah had new cap Tristan Stubbs caught at short leg for three before Siraj took the next four wickets.

Indian captain Rohit Sharma’s decision to keep Siraj on was rewarded when the fast bowler took the wickets of David Bedingham (12) and Marco Jansen (0) in his eighth over.

Top-scorer Kyle Verreynne (15) was Siraj’s sixth victim in his ninth over.

The stunning collapse comes days after South Africa unveiled a squad for next month’s Test series against the Kiwis that has been described as a C-grade team.

Days after punishing powerhouse India by an innings in a home Test match, South Africa named a debutant captain in Neil Brand among seven uncapped players for the two-Test series.

The national team was ravaged by a ruling from Cricket South Africa which determined no players contracted to SA20 franchises were eligible for selection. Thus from the side which just beat India, only Keegan Petersen and David Bedingham remain.

It is a remarkable indication of South Africa’s priorities given they currently lead the 2023-25 World Test Championship standings (with one win from one Test) and prompted Waugh to unload on Instagram.

To many the squad has signalled the imminent death of Test cricket, with Steve Waugh and Michael Clarke among those to criticise South Africa’s team selection.

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