After playing patiently and solidly for 142 deliveries, Virat Kohli lost his wicket playing a loose cover drive away from his body in the final Test against South Africa in Cape Town. He went back after scoring 29, leaving India at 152-5.
Lungi Ngidi has been erratic throughout whereas the Indian captain was even more circumspect than he was in the first innings, leaving everything outside the off-stump. But the right-arm pacer got it spot-on on the second ball of the 49th over. He hurled in an out-swinger at a teasing full length, asking Kohli to break his concentration, which the Indian skipper did by leaning into the shot with hard hands and edging it.
The ball flew high and fast to Aiden Markram at second slip and the athletic fielder jumped full-tilt to grab it with both hands. Here are a couple of videos of the wicket:
Kohli helped India rebuild from a position of weakness at 58-4. He absorbed the pressure initially, allowing Rishabh Pant, at the other end, to play his shots and change the momentum of the innings. And while the southpaw has already reached his half-century, Kohli's wicket has brought the game back into balance.
Onus on lower order to support Pant after Virat Kohli's wicket
Ravichandran Ashwin replaced his captain in the middle and went back scoring just 7. Shardul Thakur was soon dismissed after scoring only 5 (18).
With a lead of just over 180 (at the time of writing), India will need at least 70 more runs or two good partnerships to take them to relative safety. Any contribution from the lower order could go a long way in deciding the outcome of the Test.
With the pitch offering purchase for bowlers in patches, India won't feel comfortable setting a sub-250 target. Pant has been magnificent, hitting four boundaries and three sixes so far. But he'll now have to try and find the best scoring opportunities while safeguarding the tailenders.