Friday, 19 January, 2018

India vs South Africa, 2nd Test

India vs South Africa 2018 Team India at the India House
Frank Williams | 14 January, 2018, 15:54

Watch day two of the second Test between South Africa and India, live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401) from 7.55am on Sunday.

Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat first as 21-year-old Lungi Ngidi was handed his Test debut, replacing the injured Dale Steyn.

Here, we look at the good and bad performances of an opening day which saw a great battle once again between the top two Test sides in the world.

Markram's wicket came against the run of play. Bhuvi took six wickets at Newlands and faced more balls than any other India batsman. The hosts were cruising at 246/3 at one point and Hashim Amla looked primed for a 29th Test century. His drives through mid-on and mid-off regions against the fuller deliveries were a joy to watch while he was equally punishing against the shorter-deliveries.

Opener Aiden Markram (94), playing on his home ground, missed a well-deserved century by a whisker after he was caught behind off Ashwin (2-53). Even if it is a flattish deck, one has to apply himself and Markram looked at home from the word go.

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Foles and running back Corey Clement mishandled the handoff, and Foles actually pounced on the ball and dived into the end zone. The Falcons are favored to win in part due to Carson Wentz , the Eagles stellar quarterback, out with a knee injury.

Markram, who was raised just a few kilometres from the Centurion Park stadium, will resume after the interval on 51 along with a more cautious Dean Elgar, who has 26. He immediately troubled Elgar and continued to do so throughout his first spell. And then, the Indian fielders closed in and this coincided with some utterly ridiculous running from South Africa. The second Test at Centurion doesn't have too much grass and is expected to be a bouncy wicket unlike the one in Cape Town where the pitch helped bowlers generate enough swing to torment batsmen.

Ashwin might have not been the most likely bowler to take wickets at Centurion but he ended up picking 4 in the first innings.

Hashim Amla had been out of knick recently with single digit scores in his last three Test innings. Amla does have the habit of going on to big scores after being dropped early on and Virat Kohli would have been grinding his teeth after Parthiv Patel could only parry the ball away with the tips of his gloves. He struck the ball with authority, particularly off the back foot, before he tried to guide a ball from Ashwin towards third man and was caught behind by Parthiv Patel.

Those strikes went a long way in turning a day of toil into a position of parity for India, and lifted their mood after two sessions of largely ineffective bowling barring R Ashwin's two wickets. However, South Africa lost their composure in the final 10 overs of the day as two inexcusable run-outs brought India right back into the game.

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