India held a slight advantage at the end of day 2 of the third Test match between India and South Africa. Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah, with his fifer, did not allow the Protean batting to flourish, as he continued to pick up wickets regularly.
Earlier, on day 1 of the Test, Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first in the series decider. The visitors were restricted to a small total of 223. None of the batters except for skipper Kohli could capitalize on the start.
Mayank and KL Rahul did seem to start the proceeding hastily but could not carry on the momentum for longer. Virat Kohli batted for a little partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara, only to lose the latter on the team total of 95. Inconsistent Ajinkya Rahane started with a couple of flamboyant boundaries only to edge one outside the off-stump to the keeper.
Wickets were crumbling on regular intervals as the Indian skipper patiently negotiated the South African pace by working hard for his runs. The much-awaited 71st century looked very much on cards, although the captain received very little support from the other end.
Succumbing to lack of runs from the other end, Virat handed over an ‘outside the off-stump delivery to the keeper off Rabada while looking to sneak in a single from the off-side.
After a dismal performance with the bat in the first innings, India needed another heroics from the bowlers to keep them in the match, and they did deliver. Bumrah led India’s bowling, and he was complimented well by the likes of Shami and Umesh Yadav. Although the latter went for more than 4 (economy rate), team India successfully claimed the first-innings lead.
Keegan Peterson led the South African attack with the bat. The 28-year-old held on from one side as the rest of the team crumbled to the tactics of Indian pacers. His partnerships with Bavuma and Dussen looked to scare India’s chances for a brief period, although none of them were allowed to flourish.
After conceding a lead of mere 13 runs to India, they were able to chip in two crucial wickets later on day 2 of the test match. India scored at a much healthier rate. However, they lost both the openers pretty cheaply.
With over three days left in the game, and an innings each, it will be interesting to see how India would approach the third day of the game. Virat Kohli’s presence would be a sigh of relief for the touring team, although they would also be apprehensive about the inconsistent performances from the middle order.
India would ideally be looking to play the entire day 3 to stay on a driver’s seat in the last match of the series.
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