2nd Test: Proteas stumble after good start

2nd Test: Proteas stumble after good start

2nd Test: Proteas stumble after good start

Initial signs were that the pitch at Centurion wouldn't be as hard to bat on as the seam-friendly track in Cape Town where South Africa's 286 in the first innings was the highest total of the match.

R Ashwin had not much of a role to play in the first Test as fast bowlers from either side ruled the roost, taking all but 38 wickets to fall on Newlands surface. And then right after that, Cheteshwar Pujara is run-out for 0. South Africa 282/7 in 98.5 overs. He got Maharaj, who scored 18, to nick one off his fifth delivery in the 99th over. In South Africa, spinners seldom find assistance from a wicket on the opening day of a Test. A flick off the pads for two raised a battling half-century, which was received with hearty applause from the Centurion crowd. Soon after, he had du Plessis out bowled with a full one. India now a wicke away from bowling the hosts out. Rabada departs for 11.

What is in store for India in the 2nd Test against South Africa? By the next over, India had a deep point in place.

Ashwin was pleased with how the last session went for India. But the offie is unlucky to not get the former. A bowler with less than three wickets a Test has been part of a 20-wicket mission. SA 282/7 in 99 overs. Overall, he faced 150 balls and hit 15 fours.

India lost a big toss, but this was still their best chance in this series because the ball began to turn appreciably in the first session of the Test. But remains to be seen if there's some help for the Indian seamers in the morning session. It was particularly satisfying for him to have contributed with the wickets of Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock on a day that for a long duration looked like it was going ominously wrong for India.

It was a needless run given how Amla and Du Plessis had picked off the Indian attack.

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Ashwin nearly didn't play the match, but the fact that the pitch changed in nature over the last couple of days gave him reassurance he had a role to play.

After Virat Kohli chose to drop Bhuvneshwar Kumar from the playing XI in the Centurion test, the caravan of slamming from fans and the cricket fraternity continues. Contrary to reports, the pitch at SuperSport Park showed no signs of trickery and the home batsmen made the most of its benign nature. At the break, Hashim Amla (35) and AB de Villiers (16) were at the crease. And it took a brilliant fielding effort from Hardik Pandya to change the complexion of the game. Also, two quick wickets after that gave India the edge. However, they decided against it and included Ashwin into the playing XI after inspecting the pitch on the eve of the second Test, according to the Tamil Nadu off-spinner, who starred with three wickets on Saturday.

With Elgar back and an out of form Amla coming into bat, the Indians looked to attack.

"I also don't understand why Ishant came in for Bhuvneshwar when he had taken three wickets on the opening day at Cape Town".

South Africa handed a Test debut to seamer Lungi Ngidi with Dale Steyn ruled out for the remainder of the series after bruising his heel in the Proteas' 72-run victory in Cape Town.

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