India Vs South Africa 2nd Test Day 1 Highlights: India, after a harrowing 72-run loss at the Newlands, Cape Town in the first Test match against South Africa, made several changed in the squad before the beginning of 2nd Test match at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Wriddhiman Saha was replaced by old-timer Parthiv Patel while KL Rahul was brought back into the batting attack and Shikhar Dhawan was rested by Team India management.
On Day 1, South Africa dominated India from the beginning and opening batsmen Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar had a 50-run partnership. Virat Kohli used four bowlers to stop the aggressive partnership but they failed to create an impact. The loss of Bhuvneshwar Kumar was felt heavily by the Indian team. Former cricketing legends Allan Donald and VVS Laxman criticised the decision for dropping India’s ace bowler whose three-wicket haul had rocked the Proteas on the first morning of Day 1.
South Africa was looking to post a massive score at the end of Day 1 and the partnership of Elgar and Markram had taken off to a flying start when Ravichandran Ashwin’s delivery caught Dean Elgar by surprise and the batsman was dismissed with a simple catch at silly point by Murali Vijay. Elgar departed for 31 runs of 83 balls and that was the turning point for the Indian team. Ashwin scalped three Proteas among them was Elgar and Markram, who was also looking to cement his third Test hundred, but fell short of six runs in the 48th over. The third one being Quinton De Kock was bowled for a duck. However, the pace bowlers had little impact on the hosts in the first two sessions of Day 1. Only after tea, Ishant struck and claimed the prized wicket of AB De Villiers, who was unable to gauge the delivery and pushed the ball on to his own wicket.
Hashim Amla was also threatening the Indian bowling side with an array of boundaries, helping South Africa reach the 240 mark. Amla maintained his average score of 80 runs at the Centurion. At the ground, he has scored a mammoth 1269 runs in 12 tests. But, his brilliant run was ended by Hardik Pandya, whose accurate throw eliminated him and denied him another Test century at the ground. Amla had to leave after scoring 82. Virat Kohli’s decision to take up a new ball with only four overs remaining proved to be crucial for the visitors as they made most of the opportunity and quickly dismissed Quinton De Kock and Vernon Philander, both went for duck.
India will definitely look to strike early, particularly aiming for the wicket of Proteas captain, Faf Du Plessis on Day 2 and would like to start batting before lunch.