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frozenmail.net February 21, 2018


South Africa take slender first-innings lead

25 January 2018, 05:41 | Randolph Howard

Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri pointing towards different reasons for India's debacle in South

Ravi Shastri Virat Kohli

Having opted to bat first, India got all our for just 187 with Virat Kohli top-scoring with a knock of 54.

The Wanderers in Johannesburg is one of the iconic stadiums in South Africa.

Earlier, Kohli picked an all-seam attack on a cloudy morning here.

Philander was in the thick of the action all day. 3 irresponsible dismissals in last three innings including a very lazy run out makes him one of the culprits of India's woes in South Africa.

In Perth, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Vinay Kumar formed the pace pack for India at the famous WACA ground. It's never too late to do it.

Rabada was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Philander, Morkel and Phehlukwayo snapped up two wickets apiece. Pujara is now unbeaten on a 145-ball 27 as India are 114 for four.

He was caught by De Kock when he unnecessarily went for a ball that was clearly going outside off stump. Pujara took the first route. He saw off the new ball and was beginning to get into the flow of runs with the older ball as he brought up one of his finest half-centuries. Pujara had played four of those maidens and overall faced 30 balls from him in that first spell. They clapped for his 50 dot balls. Pujara added 31 runs with Parthiv Patel (2) for the fifth wicket. "You look to draw a Test match", Dhoni said. Both Vijay and Rahul departed early but Pujara and captain Kohli steadied the ship for them. There were two cracking cover drives, one moments after he had been dropped by Philander.

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Kohli did several things right in the innings.

Even Pujara's grind kept the crowd interested as well.

The visitors will resume in the second session with captain Virat Kohli on 24 off 58 and Cheteshwar Pujara on 5 off 66 and looking to considerably increase their slow partnership of 32 off 110. The catch almost blew de Villiers off his feet, but he hung on, injuring his finger in the process.

Ajinkya Rahane failed to have an impact with the bat as he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Morkel for nine runs.

It needed a change in plans for that to happen. Makwetu was the first black African batsman - and just the third player of colour for South Africa - to achieve this feat. Take an edge from Pujara, maybe. It broke the previous record set by Sachin Tendulkar, who took 45 balls to get off the mark against Zimbabwe in the Test at Feroz Shah Kotla in 2002.

The lower-middle order then capitulated. Phehlukwayo then accounted for Hardik Pandya (0), who didn't look convincing at all during his five-ball stay at the crease.



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