On a green turf at Wanderers, India started with a blip then composed themselves before suffering another blip to go into Tea at 114/4. And that is when everything collapsed in a heap. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli played fifty run knocks but in quite different fashion. While Pujara’s knoock was a patient one including a start that saw him take 54 balls to open his account, Kohli’s knock saw bit of everything – survived dropped chances and played some confident strokes to take India onward. The final session saw India collapse dramatically and fall much below than what they would have wanted even on a surface such as this. India’s 187 may not be good enough but quick wickets before stumps could change things. India managed to get an early wicket, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar striking early to send Aiden Markram for 2. Nightwatchamn Kagiso Rabada and Dean Elgar took South Africa to 6/1 at stumps on Day 1.
India vs South Africa, 3rd Test Day 1 highlights:
2100 hrs IST: And that’s stumps on Day 1. Kagiso Rabada and Dean Elgar close off the day taking South Africa to 6/1. It was a good few overs for India and they troubled South African batsmenn
2055 hrs IST: Kagiso Rabada ahas come out as night watchman for South Africa. It is the 4th time he is performing the role in his career and he has seen off the day’s play all other times. Can he do it again.
2045 hrs IST: GONE! JUST WHAT INDIA WANTED! Bhuvneshwar Kumar strikes and South Africa lose Markram. Good length delivery, it angles away and takes the outside edge to be taken by Parthiv. The jab by Markram wasn’t good enough and South Africa go one down
2037 hrs IST: Chance for India to earn some points back here. Nearly 6-7 overs for South Africa to bat before stumps on Day 1. Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram open for the hosts. Bumrah and Bhuvi share the ball
2026 hrs IST: Finally India’s luck runs out. And that of Bhuvneshwar Kumar too. Rabada bowling around the wicket, a lethal short bowler, Bhuvi tries to take it on but with the angle too much to deal with, it has taken the top edge for Phehlukwayo to mop things up. India are all out for 187, Bhuvneshwar departs for 21.
2018 hrs IST: Flirting with luck here is Bhuvneshwar. Chipped with a loose bottom hand and it flies over the cover fielder. Desperate leap to take it with one hand but contines – for now.
2015 hrs IST: DROPPED! Complete misjudgement by Ngidi at mid-on and Bhuvneshwar Kumar survives. Ngidi was nowhere near reading this catch. Bhuvi with a mistimed shot, goes into the air as it connects with the toe-end of the bat.
2010 hrs IST: GONE! Rabada comes back into the attack and strikes first ball. Bowled on off stump, Ishant goes to push at it with a straight bat a bit of movement away does him. Ishant goes back without troubling the scorers.
1950 hrs IST: Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar riding their luck as South Africa seamers get the ball to move away after getting it to pitch on middle and off.
1940 hrs IST: GONE! This is frustrating to see. Shami looks to go over the top to Philander but with the ball going away late, the India bowler gets the toe end of the bat and it falls ever so kindly to Rabada at mid-off. Faf with smart captaincy to push the fielder a touch behind and it has done the job. India go eight wickets down with 163 runs on the board
1920 hrs IST: GONE! Pandya needed to stick around, be patient and hang about with the tail, and he has failed to do so. The kind of shots that would frustrate any skipper and Pandya has once again succumbed to bit of width outside the off stump. Another casual shot and loose dismissal for India to deal with. Been the theme of the series, hasn’t it? Short delivery outside off by Phehlukwayo and Pandya’s pull takes the top edge, De Kock takes the catch on the dive. Fifth catch of the seven wickets for De Kock. Pandya goes for a duck.
1914 hrs IST: GONE! Parthiv Patel is dismissed by Morne Morkel and India’s troubles compound. That is poor from the India keeper. Short of length, outside the off stump and Parthiv tried to slash it but only edges it behind to De Kock who takes a good catch with the ball going over him. Extra bounce from Morkel, ball a bit too close to Patel’s body and that was not ideal to be cut away.
1908 hrs IST: GONE! Pujara with an error of judgement and Phehlukwayo with an enthusiastic celebration. He had done so well to watch the line and length and been so sure of himself for the most part. And yet he goes back for a silly mistake. Was allowing the ball to go past into the keeper’s gloves but hesitated for a moment and that was enough to take an edge behind. Slightest of touches behind. Pujara goes for 50. India are 144/5
1902 hrs IST: FIFTY! Pujara reaches his fifty. Admirable knock this. He took 53 balls to open his account and he’s reached his 17th Test fifty with a double from 173 balls. This knock has seen him display plenty of determination and patience
1837 hrs IST: Underway in the final session of play on the first day. Pujara to face the first ball with Rabada and Ngidi sharing the ball.
1821 hrs IST: TEA! India go into the Tea break at 114/4 with Cheteshwar Pujara and Parthiv in the middle. Pujara is on 27 and Parthiv is yet to open his account. South Africa have roared back into this after that Kohli and Pujara stand.
1802 hrs IST: Rahane has been given out leg before. The umpire raises his finger. He consults Pujara and finally decided to review. This is a legal delivery by Morkel. Needed the ball to miss the leg stump to survive but it is hitting the side of the stump on HawkEye. Stay with umpire’s call. India retain their review but lose a fourth wicket. Rahane’s return and slump continues as he walks back for 9. India 113/4
1755 hrs IST: RAHANE SURVIVES! SUCH DRAMA HERE! A nothing shot from Rahane with Philander pulling his length back. Got it to swirl away, Rahane remained rooted to the crease and has a poke at it. Gets the outside edge which falls to De Kock. But umpires stop him as they go upstairs to check whether that was a no ball or not. Luckily for the new man coming in, Philander has indeed stepped beyond the line. Need that luck when you’re coming back and have pressure to deal with
1730 hrs IST: Cheteshwar Pujara has already faced over 120 balls in the middle and he is the set batsman now. He looks comfortable in the middle and he cannot afford to lose his wicket by a silly runt out like he did in both the innings at Centurion.
1720 hrs IST: Ajinkya Rahane is in the middle. After all the debates and discussions over his selection, the pressure will be upon him to deliver with the bat.
1715 hrs IST: WICKET! After being dropped on 11 and 32, Virat Kohli is finally caught out at slips by AB de Villiers on 54. The ball just stuck to his chest and de Villiers did not let it go this time. Lungi Ngidi gets the wicket.
Well, guess his luck ran out! Ngidi had him playing and missing earlier https://t.co/OaOdg1OY9x
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 24, 2018
1710 hrs IST: FIFTY for Virat Kohli and he brings it up with a stylish pull shot. It is his 16th Test half century and it has come at a time when India really needed a partnership to build.
39th over, Virat defends a ball, wants a quick single, Pujara says no. Virat returns to his crease & does a thumbs up to Pujara. Little but significant moment of understanding & accepting limitations of others.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) January 24, 2018
1700 hrs IST: Lungi Ngidi is bowling a really testing length and line here and it is testing the patience of Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
1645 hrs IST: Virat Kohli is close to completing his 16th half century. He is into 40s. He has been given numerous lifelines here in the middle and this could possibly go on to hurt South Africa.
1629 hrs IST: DROPPED! Virat Kohli has been given a second lifeline here on 32! Weird shot from the Indian skipper Virat Kohli off Morne Morkel and he edged it straight to AB de Villiers at second slips, who lets it go. PHEW!
1625 hrs IST: Vernon Philander has been the best bowler since morning for South Africa and has really troubled the batsman. He could be the key to breaking this partnership.
1615 hrs IST: Virat Kohli’s boundary off Morne Morkel takes India over 50 runs. It was a terrific stroke from the skipper who was just tested with a ball that went just past his bat and tested him.
1605 hrs IST: Back after Lunch! It has been a tough start for India. But Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are settling things in the middle. Vernon Philander starts with the ball in the second innings.
1530 hrs IST: It was a mixed session, maybe, with Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara ensuring they do not lost any more wickets. India reach 45/2 at Lunch on Day 1.
1515 hrs IST: FOUR! Another glorious drive from the skipper and it is his third boundary in the match. The batting is likely to get easier at Wanderers as the day progresses. India need to ensure they do not lose any more wickets in the session.
1505 hrs IST: PUJARA IS OFF THE MARK ON 53rd DELIVERY! Rahane is all smiles inside the dressing room and so is Pujara. Hint of a smile as he goes about the business.
1457 hrs IST: DROPPED! Virat Kohli survives on 11. This has been put down – was rather easy. Three players circled underneath, and in the end it is Philander who goes for it and drops an absolute sitter at mid-off. Rabada is annoyed and he should be. Kohli very late on that pull, gets the toe end of the bat and it goes in the air for a simple catch… but has been dropped.
1447 hrs IST: Hero of last Test Lungi Ngidi is into the attack. Bowling alongside Kagiso Rabada. In the meanwhile, India’s runs have dried up. 27/2 after 19 overs
1422 hrs IST: Pujara bidding his time here. Staying patient in his approach. Remember, he is on a hat-trick of run outs. Not going for risky runs. He’s yet to open his account in 26 balls
1407 hrs IST: GONE! Murali Vijay has paid the price of his flirting with deliveries outside the off stump. Rabada with the wicket. Invited Vijay to go for the drive away from the body, it was pitched up and it moved away to get the outside edge to be taken by De Kock. India are 13/2
1354 hrs IST: South Africa review. Soft signal is not out for a leg before on Pujara. Philander looks convinced that this is out. It has hit in line but the height has helped Pujara here. Hitting the top of the middle and it is umpire’s call. South Africa retain their review.
1340 hrs IST: GONE! Philander was always asking questions of KL Rahul and he has been rewarded this time. Ball moves in and gets a thin inside edge which goes on and carries comfortably in Quinton de Kock’s gloves.
1335 hrs IST: What a gorgeous over from Morkel. Lovely line and length and is being rewarded with the movement off the surface. Right over the stumps on third ball, hits him on the back leg on the fourth ball, play and miss on the fifth ball and beaten on the final ball.
1332 hrs IST: Vernon Philander shares the new ball as he plays hi 50th Test. And almost starts with a wicket and an absolute beauty. Sneaks through the bat and the pad. Lovely little movement – pitches on off stump and moves in. Finds the little area between bat and pad, fluffs with the pad on its way through
1325 hrs IST: Teams come out for the anthem. As do a padded up Murali Vijay and KL Rahul. A green pitch against one of the quickest seam attack in the world – this could very well get ugly for India. Clouds overhead, not dark, but predictions of thunderstorm throughout the Test. Morne Morkel has the new ball.
1256 hrs IST: TOSS: Virat Kohli with a tails call and India will bat first. India go without any spinners. Rahane in for Rohit and Bhuvneshwar in for Ashwin. South Africa go into it without any spinners either.
Virat Kohli at the toss: “Good grass covering, but the surface is always hard, and we want to put runs on the board. We’ve played very good cricket here, last time around was a very exciting Test. We’re up against a side who are very strong in their home conditions. But we are looking to correct mistakes made in the first two games.”
Faf du Plessis at the toss: “We were thinking of bowling first, just trying to get into their batting line-up. If there are three or four days of cracking sunshine, the cracks will get into the game. But if not, if there’s rain around, it won’t. The surface is hard and that’s why we wanted a bowl too. Doesn’t spin in Joburg. It’s pacy and bouncy here. And we wanted to take the positive approach by adding another seamer, with Andile Phehlukwayo coming in for Keshav Maharaj. India are a quality cricket team and we want to beat them 3-0”
1247 hrs IST: PITCH REPORT: “Good grass covering. It might be slow though. The surface is quite hard. There are some cracks already and with the sun coming out, it would open up. For me, if I win the toss, I’d go bowling first, get that new ball…,” says Shaun Pollock.
1240 hrs IST: Based on the practice drills, Rahane has been putting in quite a shift in the slip cordon and is expected to come in for Rohit Sharma. Murali Vijay at second and Kohli at third in the slip cordon. Pandya’s place in the side looks safe for now. India may go for four quicks in Bhuvneshwar, Shami, Ishant and Bumrah. Unless Kohli and Indian team management pull a surprise out of the bag. Keeping that in mind, India could go without a spinner. Behind the stumps, Parthiv seems to have an edge over Dinesh Karthik
1235 hrs IST: There has been overnight rain in Johannesburg but it has cleared now. No delay to the proceedings in the third Test.
1230 hrs IST: Hello and Good Afternoon to our live coverage of India’s tour of South Africa. We’re into the third Test at Johannesburg and on paper it is a dead rubber but neither teams will treat it as that. South Africa would want to blank India to close in on the World No 1 ranking and avenge their 2015-16 away loss amid pitch controversies. For the visitors, it is about saving face and highlighting their prowess with the seamers while hoping the batsmen finally get into the groove.
TEAMS: India XI: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Parthiv Patel (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma
South Africa XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi