Marco Jansen delivered a powerful spell of bowling for South Africa on the first day of the second Test at the Wanderers Stadium on Monday, four years after captivating Indian captain Virat Kohli as a teenage net bowler.
After winning the toss, India were bowled out for 202, with Jansen taking four for 31. Kagiso Rabada, South Africa's senior bowler Kagiso Rabada described the newcomer to the fast bowling pack as "an amazing bowler".
"He's like 38 metres tall (he's actually 2.03 metres) which helps, especially at the Wanderers with the extra bounce. He's a magnificent bowling all-rounder," he added.
At the end, South Africa had a 35-1 lead. Kohli was one of Jansen's five wickets on debut in the first Test in Centurion, which India won by 113 runs, but he missed the second due to an upper back spasm.
K L Rahul, the stand-in skipper, top-scored with a patient 50, while Ravichandran Ashwin made a hard-hitting 46. Jansen, who stands 2.03 meters taller than most of his teammates, took advantage of the steep bounce on offer at the Wanderers, worrying most of the batters with his pace and bounce.
Ashwin admitted that batting first at the Wanderers was difficult. "You'd like to bat first. You aim to come out with a score of 260 or 270. South Africa has dominated with scores of 250 at the Wanderers. Maybe we're a little short, but with our whole bowling arsenal available tomorrow, fingers crossed, we can absolutely make something of this score."
Ashwin was alluding to a scare for India when fast bowler Mohammed Siraj exited the field holding his right hamstring after pulling up in the final over of the day.
Jansen, who towers over his teammates, took advantage of the steep bounce, unsettling the majority of the batsmen.
Jansen had a stunning two for nine in 9.5 overs when he removed Rahul. His numbers were significantly tainted by Ashwin, who, almost alone among Indian batters, felt that attack was the best form of defense. But he took one too many shots and became Jansen's fourth victim.
Jansen and his twin brother Duan, who has also gone on to play first-class cricket, bowled against the Indians on their 2017/18 visit and drew Kohli's attention.
The Bowlers’ dominance
Duanne Olivier, who returned to the South African squad after three years as a Kolpak player with Yorkshire in England, took three for 64, the same numbers as Rabada.
The day, according to Olivier, belonged to all of the bowlers. After he and Rabada failed to catch a wicket in the first hour, he applauded Lungi Ngidi and Jansen for putting pressure on the batsman.
Ngidi, South Africa's strongest bowler in the first Test, maintained great control and was unlucky not to gain a wicket, according to Olivier.
After a 36-run opening stand with Rahul, Jansen made the initial breakthrough, catching Mayank Agarwal behind.
By removing Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane off successive balls when the score was 49, Olivier put India in difficulties from which they never really recovered.
South Africa made another shaky start with the bat, with Aiden Markram falling leg before wicket to Mohammed Shami in the fourth over for seven runs.
South African skipper Dean Elgar (11 not out) and Keegan Petersen (14 not out) made it to the end, despite Petersen being dropped by wicketkeeper Risabh Pant when he had 12 off Jasprit Bumrah.
"We're down 1-0 in the series. We'd like to win the series, but we're not planning on it, "Olivier stated. "Our attention is solely on this Test match. We'll be in a good position if we bat well."