India vs South Africa , 2nd Test: Day 1 at SuperSport Park

India vs South Africa , 2nd Test: Day 1 at SuperSport Park

At stumps on day one, South Africa were 269/6, thanks to a seriously classy 94 from Aiden Markram on his own patch and a meticulous 82 from Hashim Amla.

Ashwin was dropped from the team after that game ended in a draw and had to work harder than ever to stage a comeback, which he did the following year.

Nevertheless he, in combination with Dean Elgar was able to provide South Africa with an excellent start after Faf du Plessis had won the toss and chosen to bat.

India fought back in the last session in which 37 overs were bowled, 87 runs scored and 4 wickets were taken. The vice-captain was certain to replace R Ashwin but the sudden disappearance of the grass from the Centurion wicket on Test eve has got the team management into serious thinking. Exhorting his batsmen to deliver in challenging conditions, he expressed hope that they will put in an improved performance. So I worked on making my action a lot more repeatable and I worked on the wrist position at time of release and also added a few things to my repertoire and used my wrist a lot more when I bowl and used my palm more when I bowl the floater. Time and again India's seamers slipped in the full, straight lbw ball in vain; Markram's head refused to fall across to the off side, and he punched and drove handsomely through the V, the area wide of mid-on proving particularly productive. That moment was enough; Pandya sprinted across in his follow-through, swooped on the ball, spun around, and fired a direct hit at the bowler's end.

Markram was in superb touch on his home ground, where unlike Newlands a week ago he could count on the ball not seaming off the surface and was thus secure in defence knowing all he had to do was get into line and counter any disconcerting bounce.

India's former swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag, who is famous for speaking his mind out, today stated that India skipper Virat Kohli "should drop himself" if he fails in the ongoing second Test against South Africa, launching a withering attack on the batsman for his team selection.

Jittery India aim to stay afloat against daunting South Africa.

Contrary to expectations, there was no assistance for the fast bowlers and Ashwin carried the bowling attack, taking two for 53 in an unchanged 17-over first spell before coming back to bowl another lengthy spell.

Markram, playing in his fifth Test, batted impressively as he made 51 not out, reaching his fifty off 81 balls with nine fours.

On 19, Elgar survived an Indian review for a catch behind the wicket by Parthiv Patel off Ravichandran Ashwin with replays showing he had not edged the ball. What I got from the groundsman was that it was burnt from the heat.

There was some consolation when Kohli ran across to congratulate the rising star.

"I feel those wickets in the last session are a very valuable incentive for the team going into the second day", Ashwin said.