Johannesburg – They may not be tearing though the Indian
batting line-up in the way they had hoped, but the Proteas are making inroads
in the third Test at the Wanderers.
And, most importantly, they have the wicket of Virat Kohli.
SCOREBOARD: Proteas v India - 3rd Test, Day 1
At tea on day one, India were 114/4.
It was Lungi Ngidi once again who removed the Indian captain,
this time having him caught by AB de Villiers at slip.
It was a moment that got the small Johannesburg crowd pumped,
but errors in the field had cost South Africa the chance to have Kohli out early.
First Vernon Philander and then De Villiers dropped Kohli,
giving India’s most dangerous weapon a second and third life.
He eventually fell for 54.
The wicket has been doing things all day off the seamers,
forcing India to be exercise patience and caution in their approach.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who had taken 54 balls to get off the
mark, showed exceptional application and concentration in sharing an 84-run
partnership with Kohli.
There has been a lot of talk in this series about India’s
reluctance to play Ajinkya Rahane, who is largely considered one of India’s
best traveling batsmen.
The 29-year-old got his chance in this Test, coming in for
the out-of-sorts Rohit Sharma, but he almost blew it when he edged Philander to
De Kock behind the stumps.
The Proteas thought they had their man, but replays showed
that Philander had overstepped and Rahane was called back to the middle.
It didn’t hurt too much, though, as a couple of overs later
Morne Morkel trapped Rahane (9) LBW. The review was taken, but the ball was
just clipping leg stump and India were reduced to 113/4.
Pujara, though, stood firm.
At the end of the second session he was 27* having faced 145
Wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel (0*) was at the other end.