Centurion, Jan 14: Skipper Virat Kohli's classy and unbeaten knock of 85 runs was the only highlight for India as South Africa put themselves at the top on the second day of Centurion Test here on Sunday (January 14).
Barring Kohli, none of the visiting batsmen showed patience as visitors kept losing wickets at regular interval after in response to South Africa's first innings total of 335. At the end of day's play, India were 183/5 with skipper Kohli (85*) and Hardik Pandya (11*) present at the crease.
India started their first innings on a positive note when openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay came out to bat. But Rahul, who was brought into the side in place of Shikhar Dhawan, failed to cease the opportunity as he was caught for 10 by Morne Morkel off his own delivery.
The scoreboard read 28/1 when Rahul walked back but it changed to 28 for two on the very next ball when the new-man-in Cheteshwar Pujara took a suicidal run - on the very first ball he faced - and was dismissed for a golden duck. Pujara fell short of the stumps when a direct hit from debutant Lungi Ngidi ended his stay. This was the first occasion when the right-handed batsman departed for a golden duck.
Lowest batting averages in India-South Africa Tests:— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) January 14, 2018
5.29 - Venkatesh Prasad
5.44 - Ishant Sharma
6.22 - Paul Harris
7.78 - Makhaya Ntini
8.50 - Javagal Srinath
9.27 - ROHIT SHARMA#SAvIND
Skipper and team's batting mainstay, Kohli, came into bat and immediately showed his intent with a boundary. It looked as if Kohli was into the middle to make a statement with his bat and prove why he's such treat to watch as he played with aggression. The right-handed batsman notched up his 16th Test fifty in 67 deliveries and forged a 75-run stand with opener Murali Vijay.
Vijay was playing a brilliant second fiddle to an aggressive Kohli but he threw his wicket away for 46 while attempting an unnecessary cut shot off Keshav Maharaj. Vijay had played 126 deliveries before he was dismissed and fell four short of a well deserved fifty that he could have converted into a century.
Player with longest Test career among all in this match gets out to the player with smallest Test career.— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) January 14, 2018
Parthiv Patel (debut in 2002) dismissed by Lungi Ngidi (debut this Test). #SAvInd
Following Vijay's departure, India lost two more wickets in Rohit Sharma (11) and Parthiv Patel (19). If Rohit became a victim of Kagiso Rabada, Parthiv became Ngidi's first Test scalp. The 21-year-old pacer displayed his skills before earning his maiden wicket.
Hardik Pandya who came in to bat at number six showed resistance and ensured the visitors didn't lose any wicket. It will be a test of patience and grit for the Indians as they face an uphill task of overhauling Proteas' first innings total.
Very responsible knock by Virat when the team was under pressure. Will have to convert this into a really big knock if India have to get back the upper hand. Need support from the lower order. #SAvIND— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 14, 2018
The Indians would now pin their hopes with their skipper and the tailenders if they want to stay afloat in the contest.
Earlier, Ravichandran Ashwin returned with a four-for as India bowled South Africa out for 335 in their first innings. Skipper Faf du Plessis led from the front on the second day and helped hosts go past 300-run mark in the morning session. It was a composed half-century by the skipper and crucial partnerships with Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada which took hosts beyond 300 in their first innings.
Ravichandran Ashwin is now the first Indian spinner to take a 4-wicket in the first innings of a Test match in South Africa. #SAvIND— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) January 14, 2018
Ashwin (4/113) and Ishant Sharma (3/49) shined with the ball for the tourists, who would now be hoping to score well. The pitch at Newlands is looking good for batting as it doesn't look the conventional Centurion track.
Earlier, Du Plessis (24*) and Keshav Maharaj (10*) resumed the innings for the hosts before Maharaj was dismissed by Mohammed Shami. With that scalp, Shami completed 100 Test wickets and became third fastest Indian bowler to the milestone.
Mohammad Shami completes 100 Test wickets - only the 7th Indian fast bowler to do so and 3rd quickest among them.— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) January 14, 2018
No. of Tests to 100 wkts by India fast bowlers:
25 Kapil Dev
28 Irfan Pathan
29 MOHAMMAD SHAMI
30 Javagal Srinath
33 Ishant Sharma
36 Karshan Ghavri
37 Zaheer Khan
Leading his team from the front, Du Plessis scored 63 before Ishant cleaned up his stumps. Three half-centuries were scored by the Proteas in the first innings even as Indian bowlers troubled them.
Rabada (11) and Morne Morkel (6) were the remaining African wickets that perished on the second day.
Earlier on day one, India staged a stellar comeback, thanks to some disciplined bowling effort by R Ashwin and lively fielding in the final session, and keep themselves in the game at the end the first day's play.
100 Test wickets for Shami. Well done! Milestone should egg him on to greater consistency and fire, bigger deeds— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 14, 2018
Off-spinner Ashwin struck thrice before hosts South Africa reached 269/6 at stumps on the opening day of the second Test. Skipper Faf du Plessis (24*) and Keshav Maharaj (10*) were present at the crease at the end of day's play.
India came from behind to wrest initiative from SA, thanks again to the bowlers. Time for batsmen to prove their mettle— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 14, 2018
Aiden Markram (94) and Hashim Amal (82) were the top scorers for the Proteas in the first innings but missed out on well deserved centuries.