India stare at second defeat

Virat Kohli’s team selection for the second Test vs South Africa came under plenty of criticism with ex India opener Virender Sehwag pulling no punches in his criticism for the Indian cricket team skipper

Du Plessis, though, steadied the ship from 163 for five before he was eventually caught and bowled by Jasprit Bumrah, with Vernon Philander also adding a useful 26 from number seven.

Earlier, India bowled out South Africa for 258 in their second innings and set themselves a 287-run target.

Indian pacer Mohammed Shami on Tuesday expressed surprise at South Africa rolling out a sub- continental type of pitch for the second cricket Test here.

Earlier‚ Morne Morkel played an important role when South Africa restricted India to 307 with the two wickets of Ishant Sharma (3) and the huge scalp of Kohli who scored a sensational knock of 153‚ which came off 217 balls and it included 15 boundaries. It was bound to be hard as the pitch in the SuperSport Park has been somewhat helping the seamers as well. While de Villiers was happy to play some attacking shots, Elgar waited for the bad balls to put away.

Conditions were otherwise reasonably good to bat in, and with India also offering de Villiers release balls every now and then - width the most frequent culprit - South Africa's lead was beginning to trouble India, and their worries were compounded by Elgar's stay. The opening batsman brought his 9th Test fifty in style with an elegant cover drive for a four off Ishant Sharma.

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Shami got the first breakthrough of the day for India when a rising delivery kissed de Villiers' gloves for an easy catch to wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel. Dean Elgar (61, 121b, 8×4, 1×6) mistimed his hook and hit the ball down KL Rahul's throat at square-leg.

Ashwin, who kept getting the ball to dip into awkward areas and turn sharply, almost had a wicket in the over after Elgar's dismissal. Rahul, diving full-length to his right at leg gully, only got his fingertips to it. But that didn't go India's way, just like many other things. He hit just four fours, but that barely mattered for the bigger picture. De Kock was dismissed quickly but not without some drama in the three previous deliveries.

Parthiv (five not out) took a nasty blow in the ribs from a hostile short ball from Ngidi, but the wicketkeeper and Cheteshwar Pujara (11no) were still there at the close. "He led from the front and took charge of the game", he said. It was understandable, given how delicately poised the Test match was. When Ashwin went to an edge to South Africa captain Faf du Plessis at slip off the bowling of Philander, Kohli's reaction was to slam his bat into his pad at the non-striker's end. Kohli and Ashwin (38) put on 71 for the seventh wicket before the second new ball hastened the end of the innings. A suspension point amounts to a ban from one test or two ODIs, or two T20Is, whichever come first.

Having failed in Cape Town, India's big-name batting lineup underperformed again at SuperSport Park with the exception of Kohli, who returned to the kind of form that produced scores of 104 not out, 213, 243 and 50 in his four test innings before this series.

After the day's play, Kohli pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Chris Broad of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing.

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