'Old is gold' - Twitter reacts as Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane slam timely fifties in Johannesburg Test

‘Old is gold’ – Twitter reacts as Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane slam timely fifties in Johannesburg Test

Both players were under the pump ahead of this contest.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

The 111-run stand between Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane is just what the doctor ordered for India in the ongoing second Test against South Africa. With the home team earning a 27-run lead in the first innings, India were required to bat well in their second innings. However, they got off to a dismal start with in-form openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal getting dismissed early.

Their ouster meant veterans Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane came out to bat at the stroke of Day 2’s play. As the duo has been largely short of runs lately, many believed this Johannesburg Test could be their last in national colours. However, both players batted with precision and sent the African bowlers on the backfoot. It must be noted that the Wanderers track had a lot of assistance for bowlers.

Also, South Africa’s bowling line-up is studded with the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, who have been impressive in this series. Hence, Pujara and Rahane had a stern task ahead. Nevertheless, the duo embraced the challenge and made their bat talk under immense pressure. It must be noted that Pujara, who’s often criticized for not showing intent, batted aggressively and got to his fifty of just 62 deliveries.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane scored stunning half-centuries

On the other hand, Rahane also showcased great intent and played some delightful shots all over the park. His six to Marco Jansen over deep mid-wicket was indeed wow. Both Pujara and Rahane eventually fell prey to Kagiso Rabada but not before scoring 53 and 58 runs respectively.

Besides them, Hanuma Vihari (40) and Shardul Thakur  (28) chipped in with significant contributions as India posted 266, giving South Africa a target of 240 runs. As the track has been deteriorating constantly with time and South Africa batters not doing well, India have the command. The onus is now on the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Shami to take India over the line.

Having won the opening Test by 113 runs, India will go 2-0 up in this series with a win in the second Test. Notably, India are chasing their maiden Test series win on South African soil.

Meanwhile, let’s look at how Twitterati reacted to Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane’s partnership: