India 183/5; trail by 152 runs at stumps on Day 2
- Author: Joanne Flowers Jan 14, 2018,
Jan 14, 2018, 21:51
Kohli (85 batting) waged a lone battle to lift the struggling visitors to 183 for five in their first innings on the second day.
The duo added 19 runs for the unbeaten sixth wicket.
India trail the three-game rubber 1-0.
When rest of the Indian batsmen looked in little discomfort against the South African bowling attack, Kohli was at his positive best as he played his drives and pulls with consummate ease from the onset. Courtesy these three wickets India crawled back to share the honours in what otherwise looked like South Africa's day. Despite a 79 run partnership between Vijay and Kohli, India could not achieve what it aimed for.
However, that paled in comparison with the moments of madness that dogged South Africa on Saturday's opening day of the second Test in Centurion.
Markram had earlier passed ninety for the fourth time in seven innings, having struck 143 and 97 against Bangladesh and then 125 against Zimbabwe in the recent four-day Test. I always believe in my strength and my strength is bounce, so I always try to bowl where I can finish my ball on the top of off stump. He edged to wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel.
The special fielding and the panic in South Africa's batting has given India a great chance in this Test, but this was a lifeline. "If at all there was something, we were trying to get some reverse swing going and try and probably get a few catches in front of the wicket", he said. He made way for KL Rahul.
Ashwin too probed Elgar, and in the 24th over, had a caught-behind appeal turned down.
In reply, India lost Lokesh Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara for just 28 runs on board.
Pandya went short at Vernon Philander, who didn't look comfortable but somehow fended it off to a heavily-packed on-side field. But on Sunday, it was a challenge of a different kind for India skipper Virat Kohli. The Proteas had crossed 50 in the 21st over. He set off with a flurry of boundaries and quickly outscored Vijay.
Contrary to expectations, there was no assistance for the fast bowlers and Ashwin carried the bowling attack, taking 2-53 in an unchanged 17-over first spell before coming back to bowl another lengthy spell.
Sharma took two of the four wickets that fell, finishing with three for 46, while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took four for 113. He asked for DRS review and was a tad unlucky as the edge was doubtful.
India made a double howler in the 104th over.
The end may have come quicker, with Rabada dropped off successive Ashwin deliveries when South Africa was 289-7. He was then put down at point off the next ball when Hardik Pandya was obstructed by fellow fieldsman Mohammed Shami. Soon after, he had du Plessis out bowled with a full one.
India finally found their breakthrough thanks to Ishant Sharma, who had Rabada pulling in the air.
There has been so much controversy surrounding the selection Rohit Sharma in this Indian Test side, with Indian critics believing that Ajinkya Rahane should be backed instead.