Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
11 Jan 2022
3:34 pm

UPDATE: Proteas bowlers keep India under pressure

Ken Borland

India captain Virat Kohli struggled to impose himself, reaching tea on 40 not out but taking 139 deliveries to get there.

Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada celebrates a wicket on day one of the third Test against India. Picture: Gallo Images

Kagiso Rabada led the way with the removal of two batters and was well supported by the rest of the South African attack as India battled to 141/4 at tea on the first day of the decisive third Test at Newlands on Tuesday.

Playing in his 50th Test, Rabada had taken 2/52 in 16 overs, but his figures did not reflect just how inspired his bowling was, especially in an outstanding spell of seven overs just before the tea break.

Rabada, who had dismissed opener Mayank Agarwal in the 13th over for the day, came back 10 overs into the second session and struck again in his third over when a superb delivery was angled into Ajinkya Rahane and then nipped away from a perfect length to find the edge of the bat. Rahane was caught behind for nine and paid the price for shuffling across the crease instead of coming properly forward to an outstanding ball.

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Rabada continued to pound away on a fantastic line and length, testing the outside edge on a regular basis. He beat Virat Kohli several times, the Indian captain once edging just short of second slip, and Rishabh Pant edged the champion fast bowler just over gully before he had scored. Rabada also used the short ball to good effect.

With Kohli struggling to impose himself, reaching tea on 40 not out but taking 139 deliveries to get there, India were in debt to Cheteshwar Pujara for playing positively in his 43 off 77 balls, with seven fours.

He was batting with great composure when he too received a fantastic delivery, being caught behind off Marco Jansen. The tall left-armer had been angling the ball into the right-hander from around the wicket, forcing Pujara to play, but the ball that claimed his wicket just held its line to find the outside edge.

Pant had advanced to 12 not out at the break, having enjoyed some good fortune.

Earlier, South Africa’s fast bowlers had blared out their credentials for much of the first morning but with frustratingly indifferent rewards as India were only mildly uncomfortable as they reached lunch on 75/2.

India had won the toss and elected to bat under gloomy skies in Cape Town, with the floodlights on from the outset.

South Africa chose the same XI that managed to get a series-levelling win at the Wanderers, while India got their captain, Kohli, back after he missed the second Test with a back injury.