India have won just two Test matches on South African soil in 25 years of touring - in 2006-07 and 2010-11.
South Africa, on the other hand, are riding high on confidence after their splendid outing in Cape Town and will aim to wrap the three-match Test series when they head into the second match. As the Proteas were running away with the game, it was Ashwin once again, who brought them back into the game when Markram edged one to the keeper, missing out on a deserving century.
Elgar also had a hard time against tweaker Ravi Ashwin, who has previously had his number in India. "It was kind of hit on my professional pride and from there on I knew I had to work on certain things". 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.
Quinton de Kock was then out for a first ball duck, caught at slip by India captain Virat Kohli off the bowling of hard-working spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (3-90), who sent down an impressive 31 overs on the opening day. "I don't think he would have expected to bowl as much today judging on how last week went", he said.
Contrary to expectations, there was no assistance for the fast bowlers and Ashwin carried the bowling attack, taking two for 53 in an unchanged 17-over first spell before coming back to bowl another lengthy spell. It was very slow and there was bounce, sometimes people watching the game mistake bounce for big spin and whatever it is.
In India's last tour of South Africa in 2013, pacers took 18 wickets, three times as many as spinners.
Du Plessis held his team together until stumps and was 24 not out. Ashwin said the pitch turned only because of the dampness in the morning, which means the fast bowlers might still be the ones to win or lose the Test. "It could be a very good batting day tomorrow". Elgar, who had been largely tied down by Ashwin, chose to step out, like he had in the first over after Lunch to find the boundary, but this time he hit it straight to silly point.
Ashwin also got the crucial wicket of Markram who looked primed to reach his third Test hundred.
In addition to his two centuries, he has now been out twice in the nineties. It was a bit of a nothing shot.
Be it Sachin Tendulkar or cricket great Don Bradman, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has often been compared to legendary cricketers because of his form and batting style. "It is still there but it lacked the extra pace that the usual wicket at Supersport is like", Markram said.
"My first-class team-mates there would advice that I have to develop a lot of patience, and hearing those things from them was definitely a reality check for me".
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