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, Jan 15, 2018 08:00:45 IST

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 23:50:43 IST


Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
11 8 3 0 16
11 7 4 0 14
10 6 4 0 12
10 5 5 0 10
10 5 5 0 10
10 4 6 0 8
10 3 7 0 6
10 3 7 0 6
See Full Table

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5007 116
2 New Zealand 3570 108
3 South Africa 4397 105
4 Australia 4566 104
5 England 5490 104
6 Sri Lanka 4737 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 7259 123
2 India 8508 120
3 New Zealand 6071 112
4 South Africa 6181 112
5 Australia 5701 108
6 Pakistan 5147 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 5280 135
2 India 5726 122
3 England 3036 121
4 Australia 3613 120
5 South Africa 3366 120
6 New Zealand 3367 116