Team India continued their dominance over the Proteas on the third day of the second Test at the MCA Stadium in Pune. Despite a valiant 100+ run-partnership between Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj, who scored his first half-century in Test cricket, the South Africans were bowled out for 275- 326 runs adrift of India’s first-innings total of 5-601, and if the hosts decide to enforce the follow-on, they could become the first Test team to enforce this agony on the South Africans since 2008.
The visitors were always up against it, to be honest! After being buried under a mountain of rains and the extreme conditions of Pune, they proceeded to lose both their openers- Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar- followed by under-fire No.4 Temba Bavuma cheaply.
Reeling at 3-38, South Africa needed something inspirational to stay in the game. But, unfortunately! The morning did not start well either. Theunis de Bruyn and the overnight watchman were gobbled by the seam movement and accuracy of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, reducing them to 5-53.
Skipper Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock played some attacking shots against the spinners to offset them of their length, and while it worked for a period of time, Ravichandran Ashwin’s guile and craft ultimately got the better of De Kock.
Ravindra Jadeja felt it wasn’t out
De Kock’s dismissal brought Senuran Muthuswamy to the crease. The left-arm spinner-cum all-rounder showed plenty of grit in the first Test and was one of the few batsmen who had any answers to the Indian bowlers. But, the all-rounder could not emulate his efforts of the first Test. But, despite his lack of runs, it was his dismissal and the immediate aftermath (pitch invasion) that became the biggest talking point of the day.
Here’s what happened: Ravindra Jadeja, who was targeting the rough outside the off-stump, got one to turn into the left-hander. Muthuswamy didn’t offer a shot and was trapped in his crease. Jadeja appealed half-heartedly but Umpire Nigel Llong, after a long (really long) deliberation decided to raise his finger. The ball had pitched outside off-stump but that didn’t matter as the batsman wasn’t offering a shot and Llong was vindicated by the on-screen replay.