Du Plessis fifty carries South Africa to 335

14 January, 2018, 16:01 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Team India

While they have drawn thrice, only England (2010) and Australia have managed to beat them once each here. But India's bowling unit, spearheaded by Ashwin (3/90), took four wickets in the final session to show the team's intent of making a strong comeback after the defeat in the opening Test in Cape Town.

Former India cricketer Chandu Borde, in a recent interview, offered an advice to Indian batsmen - leave the ball outside the stumps.

Indian captain Virat Kohli was happy with the pitch for the second Test here beginning Saturday.

Kumar has vaulted eight places to 22nd following figures of four for 87 and two for 33, while Cummins has leaped eight places and is now in 28th position after match figures of eight for 119, which also earned him the player of the match award.

In the case of Dhawan, the team management at last seemed to have understood that he does not have the technique to play short-pitched stuff coming at a lively pace, as it was evident in both innings at Cape Town, where he was not in control of the pull shots. Without even having a look at his partner, Philander kept running in towards the non-striker end. That also throws up a few challenges on the selection front.

He said: "I think at times they played very good cricket in that first Test".

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India will likely retain their three pacers plus medium pace all-rounder Hardik Pandya but there will be some tweak in the batting line-up.

With India's batting being a major cause for concern, Virat Kohli and the think-tank would also consider bringing back vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and playing with 7 batsmen. Every subcontinent side, India included, that has played there has been beaten by an innings. Morne Morkel takes a smart return catch to get the first wicket for his team. Steyn's absence comes as a huge blow but the other three seamers are in great form and are expected to make the ball talk when they take field.

Earlier in the day, the Indian team management surprised one and all with some inexplicable changes. Ngidi is a local boy and is said to clock close to 150kmph on a consistent basis.

"It was a reality check in terms of not being able to win a Test match for the country on day five when all things were actually set up for a spinner", Ashwin said after bowling 30 overs for under three an over and three wickets to go with it.

India had to bat out one over before Lunch, surprisingly bowled by Maharaj, and they did so without any alarms. 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.

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