Anrich Nortje had a terrible debut in the Pune Test as he went wicketless and was hit all over the park by Virat Kohli, who notched up his highest individual score of 254 in addition to breaking plenty of records. In the Ranchi Test, India once again won the toss and chose to bat on a pitch that was assisting the spinners but the bowlers responded brilliantly with Kagiso Rabada taking the wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara cheaply. Agarwal was undone by the outswinger while Pujara was trapped in front by an nip-backer as the Proteas pacers found assistance off the deck.
However, India skipper Virat Kohli joined Rohit Sharma who had already gotten his eye in and looking sold. Kohli signalled his intentions by hammering two boundaries off Anrich Nortje but with South Africa having taken two early wickets for the first time in the series, they maintained an aggressive mindset. This was demonstrated when Rabada welcomed Kohli first ball with a bouncer.
With Kohli looking to go on the attack, it was the turn of Nortje to conjur up some magic of his own. In the 16th over, Nortje's first ball was a short ball outside off and the Indian skipper let it go. However, the second ball was the set-up. Nortje bowled a full ball outside off and it swung away, Kohli did not move his feet and was beaten on the drive. Having once again exploited Kohli's weakness, Nortje proceeded to deliver the sucker punch.
The pacer got a good length ball to cut back in sharply off the deck and Kohli, with his feet rooted to the crease, drived to flick but he missed it and was hit on the pads. South Africa appealed and the umpire gave it out. Kohli belatedly asked for the review and the replays showed that the ball was clipping leg stump. The umpire's call was enough to send Kohli back to the pavilion although India did not lose the review.
Nortje became the fourth bowler to take Kohli as his maiden Test wicket. Kagiso Rabada had taken the Indian skipper's wicket in 2015 while Alzarri Joseph got his wicket during the 2016 tour of the West Indies. In the Vizag Test, Senuran Muthusamy's left-arm orthodox resulted in Kohli chipping a catch back to the bowler and in Ranchi, it was the turn of Nortje to finally say that he had dismissed the greatest batsman in the modern era currently.