Ishant Sharma's Selection Over Bhuvneshwar Kumar For 2nd Test Leaves Millennials Baffled

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli celebrates a South African wicket during the first Test in Cape

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He took a wicket each in his first three overs to give India early advantage but South Africa clawed their way back into the game and won a low-scoring thriller.

At stumps on day one, South Africa were 269/6, thanks to a seriously classy 94 from Aiden Markram on his own patch and a meticulous 82 from Hashim Amla. The hosts went into the Newlands Test with their strongest quartet of seamers - Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada.

With another lively pitch expected, the scenario looks to get all the more tougher with rain forecast as well, but Team India have the ammunition and are a much balanced side to the teams Cullinan faced in the 1990s.

Watch day two of the second Test between South Africa and India, live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401) from 7.55am on Sunday. The way Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla failed in both the innings put vast pressure on the middle order which was already short of one batsman.

That meant little, though, after Hardik Pandya swooped, turned and threw down the stumps at the non-striker's end to run out Amla and turn the day around.

The second new ball was due but India captain Virat Kohli persisted with Ashwin and was rewarded when Quinton de Kock edged Ashwin to Kohli at slip to be out first ball.

With a 29th Test ton firmly in his sights, Amla dropped a ball from Hardik Panya onto the leg side and didn't look immediately interested in a run.

Captain Kohli made several changes in the squad with KL Rahul, Ishant Sharma and Parthiv Patel returning to the side in place of Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Wriddhiman Saha. It's the second time in a short career, but I'm just going to keep saying it's part of the game and try to be positive. "We believe we can get them out twice again".

Ravi Ashwin (3/90), however richly deserved the three wickets, but more importantly it was two runouts in the last session that put South Africa on the mat. "Later in the test match, there are cracks", Du Plessis said at the toss.

India skipper Virat Kohli has said that this team is happy to fight fire with fire and the lively track on offer at the SuperSport Park in Centurion is no deterrent for his boys and they weren't just mere words and the batsmen backed it with action as they kept facing short pitched deliveries at the nets. The surface at SuperSport Park was nothing like that, however, with slow bowler Ashwin the one to profit on the opening day.

On facing Ashwin he said, "Ashwin is a world class bowler. All of a sudden I really had to pull myself back and think I am in the game now", Ashwin said.

Markram, who missed out of a century after being dismissed by Ashwin, heaped praise on the bowler.

"I think my experience of going to England and my County stint there helped because this has been a sort of wicket which you get there, especially where I played - at New Road - where it's pretty flat".

Having experienced the conditions in the first Test, the Indian batsmen will be hopeful of giving a better account of themselves.

After Ishant Sharma removed AB de Villiers (20), South Africa lost their way.

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