Kohli fights back, India 80-2 after South Africa's 335

Aubrey Yates
January 14, 2018

At tea on the second day of the second Test here on Sunday, India had moved to 80 for two in 28 overs with Vijay (31 n.o.) and Kohli (39 n.o.) raising a 52-run partnership for the third wicket.

Kohli smashed eight boundaries as spectators will expect him to smash another century of his career which might change things towards the positive for India.

India lost the first Test match at Cape Town by 72-runs after the batsman faltered in the second innings and Jaffer said the visitors lacked one good knock.

There followed a sloppy period of cricket from India, who would surely have hoped to restrict South Africa to less than 300, as they twice dropped Kagiso Rabada, both times off the bowling of Ravi Ashwin, off consecutive balls in the 104th over. He edged to wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel.

Rohit Sharma (10) continued to fail for the third consecutive innings as he was ruled LBW against Rabada.

So Ashwin got to work after lunch, and dismissed Elgar, who got into a tangle as he came down the pitch to attack, the ball spun and most importantly bounced and in trying to re-adjust his stroke Elgar pushed the ball to Murali Vijay at silly point.

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The home team had resumed on 269/6 with the lower order seeking to atone after a disastrous last 40 minutes on Saturday had seen the Proteas lose three wickets for five runs in just 13 balls.

The very next ball, Pujara took on Lungi Ngidi at mid-on, thinking that the debutant fast bowler was on his heels, but Ngidi reacted the quickest and ran the Indian batsman out for a duck.

Ngidi did have his man shortly after, though, when he had Parthiv Patel (19) caught behind for what was the moment of the day at Centurion. 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.

India crossed 50 in the 16th over as Kohli looked in good touch from the very start. Credit has to also go to Pandya and Ishant Sharma for going under three an over to help R Ashwin, who was the surprise strike option with three hard-earned wickets in 30 overs on day one.

India would have been desperate to make further inroads at that stage to get back into the contest, but with Du Plessis and Amla ticking along comfortably, it didn't look likely. Shami is now among 20 Indian bowlers with 100 Test wickets or more. Amla who'd joined him had some luck go his way when Hardik Pandya missed a hard chance at short midwicket, but otherwise the veteran no.3 look composed. In doing so, he put on 42 runs with Rabada (11). What India got was an economy rate of 4.18 from Shami and 3.16 from Bumrah despite a late slowdown.

Ashwin then wrapped up the South African innings as Morne Morkel (6) holed out to long off.

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