Wednesday, 15 July 2020

3rd Test Day1: Indian batsmen flop again vs South Africa

India's batsman Murali Vijay, front, reacts after being dismissed by South Africa's bowler Kagiso Rabada, right, for 8 runs on the first day of the third cricket test match between South Africa and India at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Five-pronged South African pace attack dismisses the visitors for 187 after they were 97 for two at one time

JOHANNESBURG: The ball flew around at the Wanderers on Wednesday. Survival was hard as the sphere seamed, bounced and zipped off the green surface.

Batting called for technique, heart, and some luck. These qualities were displayed only by Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Eleven wickets fell on the first day of the third test, all of them to fast bowlers, as India was bowled out for 187 and then reduced South Africa to 6-1 at stumps on Wednesday.

South Africa's bowler Morne Morkel‚ left, celebrates with teammates after dismissing India's batsman Ajinkya Rahane for 9 runs on the first day of the third cricket test match between South Africa and India at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

The heavy-artillery South African pace attack of contrasts made early inroads, was then pegged back by fighting half-centuries from Kohli (54) and Pujara (50), before roaring back to hit the Indian innings again.

India, 97 for two at one stage, was bowled out for 187 with the subsequent batsmen, lacking application, save Bhuvneshwar Kumar who scored a valiant and valuable 30.

The visitor struck an early blow when Bhuvneshwar seamed one away to find Aiden Markram’s edge. South Africa was six for one stumps on day one of the third Test.

It was brave of India to elect batting under a cloud-cover on this lively first day pitch here. There is a belief in the Indian camp that some cracks beneath the grass could be targeted by the seamers in the fourth innings.

For a side struggling for partnerships in the series, the 84-run third-wicket association between Kohli and Pujara was worth much.

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