SA batsmen put Indian bowlers to the sword

The 51-year-old was also impressed with the bowling display of Jasprit Bumrah Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the Newlands green top

Markram and Amla though, continued unruffled, and looked nearly immovable when Ashwin struck again, getting a snick off Markram that Parthiv held on to well to end the second-wicket stand at 63 runs.

Du Plessis held up India, although the tourists will still be positive after restricting the South Africans to less than 350 on a seemingly good batting pitch. I have seen a lot of cricket matches where people who haven't been in contention to play the match, come in and get those wickets. South Africa went into lunch with a score of 78 for naught in 27 overs.

As the second session wore on, South Africa moved their catchers in front of the wicket - quite often stationing two short covers - and looked to dry up the scoring. After India's humiliating failure to grab victory in the first Test against the Proteas side, Kohli was heavily criticized. The course of this Test may be determined by which team takes it chances the best and on day one India let far too many opportunities slip away and were at times a little too casual in the field.

At stumps, Faf du Plessis was batting on 24, with Keshav Maharaj giving him company on 10 in an unbroken stand that realised 18 runs. Nevertheless, his runs at the top set-up an excellent platform for South Africa to push towards a big total.

The hosts did not emulate the start they had in the first Test and openers Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram put up a partnership of 85 before Elgar was dismissed.

After wickets fell in heaps in the first Test at Newlands, the pitch at SuperSport Park presented an entirely different proposition as batsmen ruled the roost.

However, with Ravichandran Ashwin dismissing Quinton de Kock for a duck and Hardik Pandya chipping in with his top-hole fielding skills, the home team lost three quick wickets for just 23 runs.

Ashwin doesn't have great statistics in South Africa, England and Australia, but he has rarely been handed out conditions that make him a factor.

Ishant Sharma justified his selection ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar by taking 3-46, which included the wicket of du Plessis. Feet going nowhere, Rahul pushed well in front of his body at a full one and spooned back a return catch, while Pujara, haring out of his crease after clipping his first ball to the right of mid-on, was run-out by a brilliantly athletic pick-up and direct hit from the debutant Lungi Ngidi.

In the last session though, India came alive.

"They could have played Ishant in place of any other bowler".

The all-rounder then completed the routine task of dislodging the bails to run out Philander after the South Africa seamer's brain-fade had left him and Du Plessis at the same end.



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