SA vs IND, 2nd Test, Day 2, Review: Virat Kohli hold all the aces for India

India ended the day on 183/5 with 152 runs still adrift of the total posted by South Africa.

Virat Kohli batting
Virat Kohli of India bats. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The second day of the second Test between India and South Africa began with the visitors hoping to clean up the tail of the hosts. They had made a stunning comeback late on the first day after the home side were sitting pretty on 246/3. But a couple of run-outs and R Ashwin’s relentless spin bowling turned the day in India’s favour as they scalped three more wickets in the last hour. However, they were expected to bundle South Africa out for under 300 which would’ve been a psychological advantage for them.

The overnight of Faf du Plessis and Keshav Maharaj walked out to the middle with an aim to add as many runs as they can. They defied an early wicket to the Indian pacers but Mohammed Shami induced an edge of the latter’s willow. Kagiso Rabada then supported his skipper who went past the 50-run mark and held one end for his side. Even the Indians were more generous it seemed as they dropped Rabada twice in two balls off Ashwin, with Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya being the culprit.


Ishant cleans up the tail

Just when the things were looking bleak for India with the 42-run stand between Rabada and du Plessis, Ishant Sharma bounced out the former with Pandya making up for the earlier chance. Soon, he castled the opposition skipper who was looking for quick runs on 63 with a superb in-swinging delivery. The best bowler for the visitors, Ashwin, finished the proceedings by inducing a big shot off Morne Morkel which was safely pouched by Murali Vijay in the deep.

Ashwin, as expected with the amount of bowling he did, was the pick of the bowlers and ended with the figures of 4/113 in 38.5 overs. He was well supported by Ishant Sharma even as Shami also picked a solitary wicket.

Kohli eases the nerves

The openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul started well in the post-lunch session looking pretty comfortable in the middle. But Morne Morkel plucked a wonderful return catch to send back the latter who could score only 10. The visitors were dealt with a severe blow when Cheteshwar Pujara misjudged a single only to fall short as Lungi Ngidi aimed a perfect direct hit. India were suddenly 28/2 with the fears of the first Test collapse going through their minds.

Virat Kohli though came out with intent and played in the different gear altogether. His innings eased out the nerves of Vijay as well who settled down soon. They added 79 runs for the third wicket before Vijay got out against the run of play to Keshav Maharaj. The hosts sensed an opening then and scalped Rohit Sharma and Parthiv Patel as well to leave India vulnerable in the last hour of the day.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli played a calm hand with a lot of intent looking comfortable in the middle. He also reached his 16th half-century in Tests and is set to register yet another ton. Pandya supported him well and made sure the wickets column didn’t increase remaining not out on 11. Kohli, on the other hand, stayed strong on 85 off 128 with eight fours to his name. The visitors ended the day on 183/5 still 152 runs adrift of the total posted by South Africa.

The hosts were excellent with the ball as all the bowlers chipped in with a wicket as the debutant Lungi Ngidi got off the mark in Test cricket scalping Parthiv. They would look to earn a crucial lead by bundling India out as soon as possible on the third day. India, led by their skipper, would be eager to get close to the total of their opposition. An exciting third day is on the cards with the first session most likely to decide the outcome of the game.

Brief Scores

South Africa 335 (A Markram 94, H Amla 82, du Plessis 63; R Ashwin 4/113, I Sharma 3/46)

India 183/5 (V Kohli 85*, M Vijay 46; L Ngidi 1/26)

Stay tuned to CricTracker for more reviews and analysis of SAvIND series.