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South Africa off to steady start

14 January 2018

Not only did they fail to do that, but the Proteas got within eight runs of what would have been a world record chase. However, in the second session, Ravichandran Ashwin finally got breakthrough India were looking for.

Shami looked off-colour in his first spell once again, just like in Cape Town, conceding 23 runs off his four overs.

Centurion will serve another lively track, but there are chances that the bowlers might not have as much lateral movement as they had in Cape Town. More than four years after that Wanderers debacle, Ashwin found a pitch that gave him some turn, and he has not just kept India alive but in partnership with Hardik Pandya he has given India the upper hand despite losing the toss and watching their main fast bowlers give away runs like millionaires. But such counter-attacking and full-of-risk knock does not not pay off always and captain Virat Kohli and chief coach Ravi Shastri know that.

Du Plessis hopes the pitch at the SuperSport Park will also be assisting quicks with pace and bounce. The hosts have not lost at this venue since 2014. That left South Africa at 92/6. The run rate had come down only for Bumrah to bowl a leg-side half-volley and another short-and-wide delivery in his first over back. If India's team management managed to confound with new selection shenanigans, their lead bowlers took the expected route of profligacy. There are three candidates - two out-and-out pace specialists in Duanne Olivier and Lungi Ngidi or Chris Morris who has batting skills as well as the ability to bowl at more than 140 kmh. "Keshav Maharaj is still in and Kagiso Rabada showed his worth in the previous Test as well, along with the leadership of Faf", Markram signed off.

Kane breaks Sheringham´s Premier League record for Spurs
Son was not to be denied four minutes later when the South Korean was on hand to turn home Serge Aurier's cross. Everton arrived in the capital without a win in six and having lost each of their last three league fixtures.

A lot is also being said about India's combination for the second Test.

Having experienced the conditions in the first Test, the Indian batsmen will be hopeful of giving a better account of themselves. I have seen a lot of cricket matches where people who haven't been in contention to play the match, come in and get those wickets. However, the Indians went back with a spring in their step, knowing that they have opened a door to make a splendid comeback into the contest.

Calls for the inclusion of Ajinkya Rahane, known for his quiet approach, instead of fellow Mumbaikar Rohit Sharma have grown over the few days. Trying a late cut against Ashwin, he was caught behind with the ball hitting the pad to change direction and end up in Patel's gloves.

Ishant Sharma, recalled along with Parthiv and KL Rahul in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha and Shikhar Dhawan respectively, removed AB de Villiers in a final session which ended with India in the ascendancy after toiling for much of a hot Saturday.

South Africa off to steady start