The Sun was out for most of the day as hosts' bowlers toiled hard against the visitors, who were on song again.
South Africa continue their away experience at home, this time at the Kingsmead in Durban. The pitch is not close to what we get in this part of the world. The Sun is baking the 22 yards, and the duo of Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara are enjoying batting on this very true surface.
The ball is coming nicely on to the bat, and there are no such 'away demons' for the visiting side. South Africa have persisted with too straight a line, and the Indians have capitalised on even the slightest slip in line or length. Even the pace off the pitch is far from what it was at the Wanderers. The hosts' bowlers are bending their back, but there is not much assistance from the pitch.
It was a completely different duo of Pujara and Vijay which walked out to bat after lunch. Before lunch, they were happy to shoulder arms to deliveries outside off, and didn't mind presenting a dead bat to straight deliveries.
The Indians seemed to have enjoyed their lunch. For in the second session, there was a palpable injection of life in their batting. Straight deliveries were whipped off the pads, while anything short or full outside off was dealt severely. What was disheartening for the skipper was that the Proteas didn't learn from their mistakes, and continued to stray on the batsman's pads, way too often. This is just where the wristy Indians like it best.
Spin, but no turn of momentum
On first look, one can say this pitch will definitely turn. The grass on the strip is devoid of any moisture, and it is very hard. The lone South African spinner, Peterson, struggled like his teammates as the Indians made full use of his short spells. They were happy to put the dancing shoes on, and dispatch the loose deliveries with disdain.
The crowd's out
There is not much in the game to catch the crowd's attention. The capacity crowd, much more than at the Wanderers, basked in the sunshine. The two piece bikinis and colourful trunks were out. Durban's cricket lovers sipped on chilled beers as they watched Vijay and Pujara caress ball after ball to the fence.
If the match continues to play the way it did during