India vs South Africa: Struggling visitors need Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya to defy Proteas on Day 3

India need Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya to stretch their partnership as far as possible on the third day if they are to get close to the South African total.

FirstCricket Staff, January 15, 2018

In what turned out to be a topsy-turvy day that saw a plenty of action on the field, South Africa seemed to be in the position of control on the second day of the second Test against India at Centurion.

Resuming from their overnight score of 269/6, Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis did well to not only get to his 17th Test half-century, but also held the innings together to guide the hosts past the 330-run mark when the possibility of getting bowled out for less than 300 looked very likely at one stage.

They were, of course, helped by some poor fielding by the Indians. Lower-order batsman Kagiso Rabada was dropped off successive deliveries in Ravichandran Ashwin’s 34th over of the innings — Kohli put down a tough chance at first slip followed by some miscommunication between Hardik Pandya and Mohammed Shami at point which led to the former fluffing an easy chance.

Virat Kohli was unbeaten on 85 at stumps on Day 2 of the 2nd Test. Reuters

Virat Kohli was unbeaten on 85 at stumps on Day 2 of the 2nd Test. Reuters

Indian openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul got off to a promising start, but wickets off successive deliveries, that saw Cheteshwar Pujara getting run-out while taking a needless risk, pegged India's progress back. Captain Kohli and Vijay stitched a useful 79-run stand for the third wicket, which was ultimately broken by left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj with the latter departing four short of his half-century.

From thereon, India kept losing wickets at regular intervals. While Rohit Sharma disappointed with the bat yet again, Parthiv Patel turned out to be debutant Lungi Ngidi’s maiden Test wicket after edging the ball to Quinton de Kock.

With Kohli and No 7 batsman Hardik Pandya being India’s last hope of getting close to South Africa’s first innings total, or even aiming bigger, the two will need to put up a display of attrition on the third day. Pandya needs to get back the rhythm that guided him to a fighting 93 on a difficult Newlands wicket. Kohli is well settled at the crease, and has put up a positive display so far in the innings.

The lower-order, led by Ravichandran Ashwin, will also have a crucial role to play. However, it's the morning session that will decide which way the game turns. Kohli and Pandy would look to be mix caution with aggression with one eye on getting close to the South African total. The pitch still looks good for batting and the two need to make the most of it on day three.

Updated Date: Jan 14, 2018





Top Stories

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3634 125
2 South Africa 3712 106
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3772 97
6 Sri Lanka 3668 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6470 127
2 India 5819 121
3 New Zealand 4602 112
4 South Africa 4275 110
5 Pakistan 3844 104
6 Australia 3699 100
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3972 132
2 India 4601 124
3 Australia 2570 122
4 England 2448 117
5 New Zealand 2542 116
6 South Africa 2093 110