5 best spells by Indian bowlers in South Africa in Test cricket

javagal srinath

India have found success in South Africa difficult over the years in Test cricket. However, some top spells by Indian pacers have helped them come close to wins on occasions. Here are 5 such best bowling performances:

Javagal Srinath – 6/76, Port Elizabeth, 2001: In the second Test, Srinath ripped through South Africa’s batting. Chasing 363, the hosts were in a strong position at 362/5 before Srinath took control. He dismissed Gary Kirsten, Jacques Kallis and Lance Klusener to help bowl South Africa out for 362. His spell helped India avoid defeat, as the match ended in a draw thanks to Dravid’s fighting 87 in the second innings. 


Venkatesh Prasad – 5/50 & 5/93, Durban, 1996: Prasad produced a brilliant twin effort in the first Test. He took 5/60 in the first innings to bowl out South Africa for 235 after they chose to bat. However, India were dismissed for just 100. Prasad picked up 5/93 in the second innings but India lost by 328 runs, unable to defend a target of 329. 


S Sreesanth – 5/40, Johannesburg, 2006: Chasing a huge target of 458, South Africa were in a strong position at 148/2. However, Sreesanth produced a magical spell to turn the match on its head. He dismissed Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Shaun Pollock to bowl the hosts out for just 84. This helped India win by 123 runs.


Mohammed Shami – 5/44, Centurion, 2021: In the first Test, Shami helped India take control. After posting 327, he took 5/44 to bowl South Africa out for 197. This gave India a vital 130-run first innings lead. They went on to win the low-scoring match by 113 runs. 


Shardul Thakur – 7/61, Johannesburg, 2022: Thakur produced a brilliant spell for the ages. With India struggling at 202, he took 6 of the top 7 batsmen to finish with figures of 7/61. This helped bowl out South Africa for 229, giving India a first innings lead. However, they couldn’t win the match as South Africa chased 240 in the fourth innings.


These spells highlighted how Indian pacers have troubled South Africa in their conditions at times over the years. While the results didn’t always go India’s way, these top performances provide some memorable moments for Indian fans in South Africa.

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