There were no demons in the Mohali pitch, says Virat Kohli after victory

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Mohali, Nov 7: India may have wrapped up the first Test against South Africa in just under three days but skipper Virat Kohli today said that there were "no demons" in the wicket, though he admitted it was more of a bowlers' game.

Match Report; Scorecard; Photos

Chasing a 218-run target on a turning track, the Proteas were bundled out for 109 runs in 39.5 overs in the final session as the match ended inside three days at the IS Bindra stadium here to give India a 1-0 lead in the four-Test series. (Impressive comeback by Jadeja)

Kohli (left) praised his spinners, Jadeja in particular

"I don't think there were any demons in the wicket, the ball did not turn square at any stage, batsmen had to apply themselves but it was a bowlers' game," said Kohli at post match presentation ceremony.

In what turned out to be a low-scoring game, batsmen failed to sustain for long on the PCA track. "We thought if we are finding it difficult on this wicket, it is going to be difficult for them (South Africa) as well," said Kohli.

Major contribution from Murali Vijay (75 and 47) and Cheteshwar Pujara's patient 77 in India's second innings helped the hosts post a challenging target.

"You need mental strength at this level. (Vijay and Pujara) are two of the most solid guys we have. Had we applied more, we could have given them a bigger target," he said.

Heaping praise on comeback man Ravindra Jadeja, who made a crucial 38 in the first innings to go with his eight wickets in the match, Kohli said: "I am happy for him (Jadeja), he went back, got lot of wickets in Ranji Trophy, scored runs as well. He is feeling good mentally now.

"People with all-round ability are hard to find, it is just a matter of him keeping his mental strength, and he can be an asset for India in the future," he added.

Kohli said it was important to win the first Test after losing both the T20 and ODI series in the past one and half month.

Jadeja (3rd left) celebrates with teammates after dismissing Amla

"First Test as captain at home was a special occasion for me, it is a young team, building a strong team together. Seeing the way things have gone in the past month and half, the way we played here, a lot of credit has to go to the team," said the skipper, who was playing his first Test as captain on the home soil.

Man-of-the-Match Jadeja said he was glad that his comeback game turned out to be a good one. "We played on turning tracks at Rajkot (in Ranji), so I had confidence about my bowling. I worked hard this season, I was bowling in the nets for hours. This was my comeback game and I was looking to play positive. It has been a pressure game for me, I was trying to prove myself again, so I am really happy," he said.

South Africa captain Hashim Amla said 150-160 would have been a more chaseable target. "200 was a chaseable total, probably 150 would have been more realistic, 150-160 would have been a fair challenge on a deteriorating wicket," said Amla.

He, however, said his team managed to kept themselves till the last session on the day today. "To get India for 200 was an excellent effort from our bowlers, we kept ourselves in the game till the last session, but credit to India for bowling us out.

"There were some soft dismissals, we were in the game till we lost four or five and put pressure on the lower guys. Stiaan (van Zyl) showed you could gets runs if you hung in there," said Amla.

PTI

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