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South Africa ease to 78/0 at lunch on flat pitch

13 Janvier 2018

India captain Virat Kohli during a training session at Centurion Park on the eve of the second Test against South Africa yesterday.

Amla was handed a reprieve when Parthiv dropped him down the leg side but he and AB de Villiers (20) did well to ensure they did not lose any more wickets to end the session with a score of 182 for two.

An Indian spinner dominating on day one of a Test on the highveld is a rare thing.

For large parts of Saturday (January 13), it looked like South Africa would walk in to stumps with plenty of smiles and wickets intact. Test cricket, especially when you are playing away from home and trailing in a series, doesn't throw up many lifelines. However, there was a feeling India could have applied more pressure if Jadeja had been bowling from the other end, like they do back at home.

The openers were unseparated at lunch, but shortly after, Ashwin finally broke through Elgar's stubbornness, with the opener stepping out and pushing at the ball that Vijay latched on to, close in.

There was hardly anything for the fast bowlers at all. It took a referral for the verdict to come, and when it did the Indian team was jubilant.

Steyn injured his heel while bowling on day 2 of the first Test, and has been subsequently ruled out of the remainder of the series. A surprise omission, though, was that of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The story of Newlands is now forgotten as attention turns sharply to SuperSport Park for the second Test cricket between South Africa's Proteas and India starting today.

"You can't just stand there and take whatever is coming your way and not have intent", Kohli said after his team were beaten by 72 runs in the first Test in Cape Town. On the other hand, India who did not deserve six wickets on the day, got so. What India got was an economy rate of 4.18 from Shami and 3.16 from Bumrah despite a late slowdown. Meanwhile, Amla and Markram added 63 runs for the second wicket. In the first hour of the Test, India were reduced to asking Pandya to hide the ball well outside off, which he did as ordered. It is very tough at the moment, though, because there are two very good bowlers doing that. He survived a half-chance to Hardik Pandya at short midwicket off Ashwin on 14 and a diving catch to Patel when he glanced Ishant Sharma to the wicketkeeper's left with his score on 30, but then played with authority.

For his dismissal‚ Markram's review was unsuccesful as Ultraedge showed that the ball came off his bat and the decision remained that of the umpire‚ who originally had waved his finger for out. Bhuvneshwar had Keshav Maharaj tickling a catch to Saha and Morne Morkel undone by a sharp bouncer, also pouched by Saha for his tenth dismissal. Bumrah bowled an ordinary second spell and was taken for runs as Elgar looked more comfortable at the crease.

"If there was a bit of grass on the wicket, it's fine then as we back ourselves".

South Africa ease to 78/0 at lunch on flat pitch