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Day 2 evenly poised as Ngidi claims maiden wicket

15 January, 2018, 00:07 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Faf du Plessis

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.

With South Africa having gone from 246/4 to 251/6, Du Plessis and Keshav Maharaj halted the flow of wickets and guided the Proteas safely to stumps with an unbeaten 18-run partnership.

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. He made 63 in just over three and half hours facing 142 balls and hitting nine fours.

But the Indian batsmen needed to step up.

If South Africa's bowlers - including the exciting debutant Lungisani Ngidi - can extract more from the pitch, it will certainly make for absorbing viewing, and the value of Markram's 94 will be seen in greater context, which could help the young opener overcome his disappointment at missing three figures. Ishant and Jasprit Bumrah only conceded 12 runs in the first eight overs of the day before Mohammed Shami came on to bowl.

Faf du Plessis, though, looked in good touch and he kept the scoreboard ticking over on his way to a 17th Test match half-century.

South Africa's tail failed to contribute much, as South Africa added 66 runs to their overnight total to be eventually bowled out for a first innings total of 335, 10 mins before the lunch interval. "So, this was one of those days".

Although India's bowlers gave a good account of themselves, the batting line-up flattered to deceive once again on a lively track. Before R Ashwin, Erapalli Prasanna was the fastest, who reached the milestone in 20 Tests.

"Look at Cheteshwar Pujara".

Ishant said his plan was just to bowl in right areas so as to make life hard for the South African batsmen.

At 28/2, Kohli walked to the crease with his side, and their series, in trouble.

Centurion: Cricket is a amusing game; the deserved at times do not get what they deserve.

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

That took South Africa from 246/3 to 251/6, and what should have been a dominant day at the office became one that India will be more satisfied with.

Meanwhile, the debate over picking Rohit Sharma ahead of Ajinkya Rahane is likely to continue because the team will continue with the former over the latter simply because of the form and runs he carried with him from the home series against Sri Lanka. Bowling the fourth stump line, he got ABD to go for the cut and the ball was too close to the body, thereby ensuring that the inside edge got the ball to drag onto the stumps.

With the first ball of his fifth over, Ngidi thought he had Kohli trapped LBW. Soon after, he had du Plessis out bowled with a full one.

Centurion held its breath, and the initial replays suggested that Kohli was stone dead.

"He came over to say "well played and unlucky"‚ Markram said. "So you are basically depending on Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli as the two best performers in overseas conditions", the 45-year-old was quoted saying to India Today.


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