In Johannesburg, the seam bowlers reigned, particularly India’s Shardul Thakur, who bowled well for career-best figures of 7-61 and virtually single-handedly prevented South Africa from gaining control.
- Shardul Thakur – The ‘Lord’
Thakur struck 3 times in quick succession before lunch to remove Proteas captain, Dean Elgar, for 28, Keegan Petersen for 62, and Rassie van der Dussen for 1. South Africa started the second day 35-1 in its first innings and built itself into a position of strength at 88-1. South Africa went to lunch 102-4 all of a sudden.
South Africa regrouped in the afternoon and appeared to be on its way to a 162-4 lead, only for Thakur to interfere once more. He ended a 60-run stand between Temba Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne this time. He eventually removed both of them, dismissing Bavuma for 51 runs and adding two more lower-order wickets.
Late in the afternoon, the game swung again when openers Mayank Agarwal and KLRahul, who were filling in for the injured Virat Kohli, departed cheaply, and India was 44-2 in its second innings.
- Good Comeback Knocks from Pujara & Rahane
Before stumps, the veteran Pujara and Rahane, who may be playing for their positions following a bad run of form, calmed things down and ensured there was no further damage.
Pujara (53) and Rahane (58) put on a century stand to enable India to get closer to 200 runs until Rabada (3/77) sent both bats back to the Pavillion. Rabada wasn’t done yet, as he dismissed Pant for a duck, ensuring that the latter would be scolded by the coach for his poor shot selection. Ngidi (3/43) sent Ashwin (16) packing after he sought to reclaim the initiative.
Hanuma Vihari (40 not out) and Shardul Thakur (28) held off the Proteas attack to increase India’s lead.
After Jasprit Bumrah was hit on by deliveries from Marco Jansen late in the Indian innings, things got a little heated.
Bumrah swung, failed to connect, and was smacked on the right shoulder by the South African pacer, who fired down a couple of nice bouncers. Bumrah was smacked on the shoulder again two deliveries later as he attempted another cross-batted swing.
On Tuesday, India’s seamer Shardul Thakur claimed a seven-wicket haul, but the second test against South Africa remained tense following the second day’s play at the Wanderers.
After the home skipper had originally held off an impressive early onslaught of hostile bowling, Thakur broke South Africa’s early resistance 90 minutes into the day’s play when he got Dean Elgar caught behind for 28.
Petersen made his first test half-century, but was caught in the slips by Thakur for 62 and returned to the dressing room with his captain.
Although television replays suggested the ball may have fallen short before being recovered by India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, Rassie van der Dussen went cheaply off the penultimate delivery of the first session, with an inside edge. The umpires, however, ruled that there was no compelling evidence that the catch was incomplete, and the dismissal was upheld.