SA batsmen put Indian bowlers to the sword


Markram and a struggling Dean Elgar (31) put on 85 for the first wicket before Elgar went down the wicket and was caught by Murali Vijay at silly mid-off, checking a drive when Ashwin bowled the ball a bit shorter so that Elgar could not reach the pitch of the ball.

Contrary to expectations, there was no assistance for the fast bowlers and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was India´s only successful bowler, taking two for 53 in an unchanged 17-over spell.

Markram, with Hashim Amla, however, continued the domination by adding another 60 odd runs to the board after which both Markram (94) and Amla (82) fell short of their respective Test tons.

Brief scores: South Africa first innings: 335 all out (Aiden Markram 94, Hashim Amla 82, Faf du Plessis 63; Ravichandran Ashwin 4/113, Ishant Sharma 3/46) vs India: 4/0 in first innings till lunch on Day 2.

On Saturday, Ashwin could have easily slipped into that phase where he tries a lot when wickets are hard to come by. He asked for DRS review and was a tad unlucky as the edge was doubtful.

"The one thing I have comfortably done is to conveniently forget the history about South Africa".

Following Markram's wicket, Villiers (20) chipped in and along with Amla took the team to 199 until the swashbuckling batsman was clean bowled by Ishant Sharma.

Elgar and Markram had started watchfully against the new-ball pairing of Bumrah and Shami, the latter conceding 23 runs off his four overs. Ashwin bowled the most overs for India as he bowled a total of 39 overs with one ball to spare.

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Rahul had looked rusty, particularly against Morne Morkel's (1-24) bounce, and only ended up returning a catch, which the bowler grabbed in a diving effort to the left.

The Proteas had crossed 50 in the 21st over.

South Africa were comfortably placed at 246/3 at one stage.

Kohli strode in with India under pressure at 2-28 after losing two wickets in two balls.

In a period in which the consistency of Amla's form has been questionable - his three hundreds in 2017 came against weak Sri Lankan and Bangladesh attacks at home - and his temperament a touch on the impatient side, that shot was the reassurance that even against more challenging packs, Amla is still ace. KL Rahul is going to replace Shikhar Dhawan while Ishant Sharma is replacing Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

We really shouldn't be surprised that Virat Kohli made changes from the XI that lost at Newlands given that in his 34 Tests as captain he is yet to name the same team twice.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.