Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
3 minute read
3 Jan 2022
2:59 pm

UPDATE: India make steady progress on day one of second Test

Ken Borland

India lost two wickets in the second session on day one off the second Test against the proteas at the Wanderers.

Kagiso Rabada and Rassie van der Dussen of the Proteas celebrate the wicket of Hanuma Vihari of India during day one of the second Test between the teams at the Wanderers. Picture: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

The Proteas gobbled up two half-chances in the field as they reduced India to 146/5 at tea on the first day of the second Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Monday.

Having gone into lunch with their tails up as they fought back from another slow start with the ball to claim three wickets, the portents did not look good when Temba Bavuma dropped a sharp catch at point, having to go high to his right as Hanuma Vihari (9*) clattered a cut shot off Lungi Ngidi.

But Vihari could only go on to score 20 before Rassie van der Dussen leapt high to his left at short-leg, taking a stunning one-handed catch as Kagiso Rabada’s fire and bounce found the splice of the bat.

Rabada then provided his own moment of fielding brilliance as he snapped up a sharp chance, running in from the fine leg boundary and diving forward, to get the key wicket of India opener Lokesh Rahul, who tried to hook a Marco Jansen delivery that just got too big for him.

Rahul had reached 50, his 13th Test half-century, and, having seen his heroics in scoring a century on the first day of the first Test at Centurion, he seemed set for a much longer stay than the three-and-a-half hours and 133 deliveries he spent at the crease at the Wanderers.

Rishabh Pant (13*) and Ravichandran Ashwin (24*) rallied before tea with a partnership of 30.

India had once again won the coin toss and flourished early with the bat, before South Africa’s bowlers zoned in on the right areas of the pitch to reduce them to 53/3 at lunch.

The tourists did not have Virat Kohli at the toss this time, their skipper pulling out of the match due to back spasms, but Rahul called correctly and decided to bat first in his first Test as captain.

And Rahul and Mayank Agarwal batted through the first hour quite comfortably as South Africa’s new-ball pair of Duanne Olivier and Rabada battled to settle on a consistent line or length.

It was once again Ngidi who led the way for the Proteas with the ball. Two of his first four overs were maidens, creating the sort of pressure that had been lacking.

And it was Jansen who benefited at the other end, angling a delivery across Agarwal (26), who reached for the drive and provided a thin edge to the Proteas new Test wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne.

Olivier was much more controlled in his second spell and resembled the alpha-male enforcer he was in his first stint with the Proteas.

The Prodigal Son took two wickets in two balls to turn the session South Africa’s way.

Cheteshwar Pujara had rather dug himself into a hole by scoring just 3 runs off 33 balls, and he then lunged forward to a shortish delivery that bounced more than he expected, taking the shoulder of the bat and looping to a shortish point.

Ajinkya Rahane then fended at his first ball, when he really should have been shouldering arms, and steered it to third slip, where Keegan Petersen took a neat catch.

South Africa have beefed up their fast bowling reserves by playing both Jansen and Olivier, leaving out medium-pacer Wiaan Mulder, while still fielding frontline spinner Keshav Maharaj.