Abril 26, 2018

Centurion Test: Proteas ask India to field first

14 Enero 2018, 12:43 | Gerardo Tarin

India celebrate their first ever Test win in South Africa

1st Test at Johannesburg Dec 15-18 2006

"I have had a great time over the last two, three years". The Indian team lost the match and returned home as runners-up, but not before the team and its fast-bowling squad had established a formidable reputation for themselves.

Opener Aiden Markram scored an unbeaten fifty to guide South Africa to 78 for no loss at lunch on the opening day of the second cricket Test against India here today. Jasprit Bumrah's 18 overs were the second highest of the day, which spoke of how much load the offspinner had taken, having come on in the 20 over of the day.

Du Plessis and Keshav Maharaj prevented further damage from being done, but they will return to the crease on Sunday morning with work to do. The Indian bowlers, on the other hand, kept looking for ways to get wickets on the day. It was particularly satisfying for him to have contributed with the wickets of Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock on a day that for a long duration looked like it was going ominously wrong for India.

Before that passage of play, it was South Africa all the way. The dismissal didn't just provide India a much-needed wicket in the session but also got Vijay to breathe a little easier. India need just 208 runs to win the Cape Town test in their first encounter against Proteas but poor batting performance by India batsmen which cause them 72 runs defeat.

India made three changes to its team in an effort to get back into the series. India's record of nine consecutive series victories is on the line after the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Most importantly, Elgar is still there and should be hopeful to continue to build a platform as the Indian attack tires in the heat.

He struck the ball with authority, particularly off the back foot, before he tried to guide a ball from Ashwin towards third man and was caught behind by Parthiv Patel.

When Markram edged Ashwin to Parthiv Patel behind the stumps, he had put on 63 for the second wicket with Amla. This coming from Virender Sehwag who has always been on Kohli's side is a big statement and shows how animated he got at the sight of Bhuvneshwar Kumar not making it to the playing XI.

In the last session though, India came alive.

Dean Elgar (31) was Ashwin's other victim, while impressive seamer Ishant Sharma (1-32) induced an edge from the unsafe AB de Villiers (20) onto his own wicket. The bowler sprinted alongwith Du Plessis, collected the ball and threw it to Amla's end on the turn.

Since the start of 2016 he has taken 108 test wickets at an average of 21.34 and has a career strike-rate of 39.2 that is better than veterans Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel. They must curtail their habit of going after the deliveries.

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