Third day's morning session important for us, says Ishant

15 January, 2018, 00:10 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Virat Kohli

India fought back late to reduce South Africa to 269 for six wickets in their first innings on the opening day of the second cricket Test at the SuperSport Park here on Saturday.

South Africa's newest fast bowler on the five-day circuit, Lungi Ngidi, was so nervous ahead of his first ball he was not sure if he could let go of the delivery but he ended the day with his first wicket and a spectacular run-out in the second test against India on Sunday.

Only opener Murali Vijay provided some lasting support for Kohli on Day 2 at SuperSport Park as South Africa's four-man pace attack worked its way through the Indian top and middle-order. At stumps, Faf du Plessis (24) and Keshav Maharaj (10) were at the crease with the score reading 268 for the loss of 6 wickets.

Pandya, replacing Shami, found Rabada's edge in his first over but the ball didn't carry to first slip; an argument could be made that the wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel should have dived across and gone for the catch.

"He came over to say "well played and unlucky"‚ Markram said. Given how South Africa were going at that point, the heat Amla had batted in for most of the day and the illogicality of trying anything silly, it was a mistake that opened the door for India.

Together with Vijay, Kohli added 79 runs for the third wicket as India crossed 100 in the 33rd over. Hashim Amla (82) and Vernon Philander (0) were victims of poor running between the wickets.

Instead, Kohli and Vijay set about recovering the Indian innings and at tea they had gotten through unscathed with the scoreboard reading 80/2.


India crossed 50 in the 16th over as Kohli looked in good touch from the very start.

But he misjudged the pace of the incoming fielder and didn't even bother to look at Du Plessis for the call of "no".

Debutant Ngidi entered the attack shortly afterwards and bowled an opening spell of four overs for six runs, nearly claiming the wicket of Vijay, whose cut fell just short of a diving AB de Villiers at third slip. Mohammed Shami was haywire too, and India had to recall Ishant Sharma and Ashwin back into the attack. Morkel's was Ashwin's fourth wicket of the innings.

But the Indian team management are not being fair to Dhawan by dropping him after his failures in the first Test while continuing to ignore the candidature of Ajinkya Rahane while picking Rohit Sharma because of his good form in recent times which has come in the Indian sub-continent.

The South African batsmen took a bit of momentum out of those two misses, with Du Plessis turning up the aggression as the hosts surged past 300. In doing so, he put on 42 runs with Rabada (11). South Africa opened up the infield, allowing the Indians to also get singles.

India finally got the delayed breakthrough in the 111th over as Pandya held a smart catch off Ishant in the deep. Exactly what we expected it to be and we actually wanted it to be that way so that both teams are into the contest provided they play some good cricket.

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