South Africa’s fast bowlers dominated Day 1 of the 2nd Test against India at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. India crumbled to 202 in 63.1 overs batting first as only KL Rahul (50) and Ravichandran Ashwin (46) offered some resistance. For the Proteas, Marco Jansen was brilliant with 4 for 31 while Duanne Olivier and Kagiso Rabada had identical figures of 3 for 64.
South Africa ended the day at 35 for 1. Mohammed Shami again struck early for India, trapping Aiden Markram (7) leg before with a length ball that came in. Jasprit Bumrah could have sent back Keegan Petersen for 12. However, Rishabh Pant could not latch on to a thick outside edge as the batter slashed at one outside off.
In more trouble for India, Mohammed Siraj walked off with a suspected hamstring injury towards the end of day’s play. Dean Elgar (11*) and Petersen (14*) were at the crease for South Africa at Stumps on Day 1.
Earlier, India were dealt a big blow ahead of the Test as Virat Kohli was ruled out with upper back spasms. Rahul walked out for the toss and India batted first after winning it. South Africa’s pacers asked questions of India from the start. There were some close calls but the openers did well to negotiate the opening hour.
Mayank Agarwal (26) fell immediately after the drinks break, outside-edging a drive off Jansen. South Africa gained control of proceedings after that. Cheteshwar Pujara made a painstaking 3 off 33 as nothing much changed for him at the start of the new year. Looking to defend a short-of-a-length delivery from Olivier, he gave a simple catch to point. The ball bounced a little extra and went off the shoulder of Pujara’s bat.
Ajinkya Rahane’s first innings of 2022 lasted one ball. He hung his bat outside off aimlessly and was caught at gully. From 36 for no loss to 49 for 3, India’s slide was rather swift. Rahul and Hanuma Vihari took India to Lunch at 53 for 3. Despite a defiant effort by the visitors in the first hour, the opening session of the 2nd Test clearly belonged to South Africa’s bowlers.
Early in the second session, Lungi Ngidi could have had Vihari’s scalp for 9. However, Temba Bavuma could not hold on to a slash from the batter at point. Rabada ended the stubborn 42-run stand, having Vihari (20) brilliantly caught by a leaping Rassie van der Dussen off a rising delivery.
At the other end, Rahul kept battling hard to reach another fighting fifty. However, he fell immediately afterwards, top-edging a pull off Jansen. With their captain’s departure, India had lost half their side for 116.
Ashwin resists but probing South Africa keep striking
As wickets continued to fall at one end, Ashwin decided to counter attack and scored a crucial 46 off 50, a knock which included six fours. It was thanks to Ashwin’s efforts that India managed to cross 200.
India lost Rishabh Pant (17) early in the final session as he inside-edged a back of a length delivery from Jansen outside off to the keeper. Shardul Thakur (0) then cut Olivier straight to gully, while Shami (9) hit one straight back to Rabada. Ashwin was ninth man out as he top-edged an attempted slash off Jansen to point.
Jasprit Bumrah (14*) came in and clobbered Rabada for a six and two fours. However, he did not get a chance to extend his cameo as the South African pacer had Siraj (1) caught down leg. Having cleaned up India cheaply, the Proteas did well to lose only one wicket by Stumps.