Finally,the sun came out in Durban and play began in the post-lunch session on Day 2. India resumed the day on 181/1 with Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay zeroing in on their respective milestones. Day 1 was majorly dominated by the visitors. Even though almost 30 overs were lost due to bad light,India laid a solid foundation for a huge total.
The Steyn stomp
On Day 2,Dale Steyn came out all guns blazing. He surpassed his average bowling speed of 142.8 kph in the match and rose to a fiery 147.2 kph. The frustration was quite evident on the world’s best Test bowler’s face and right in that moment Steyn found his long lost luck. Cheteshwar Pujara,who had not given away any chances to opposition fell prey to Steyn’s perfect short ball and AB de Villiers made no mistake in bagging it. Next to go was the potential centurion Murali Vijay on a heart-breaking 97. Suddenly,it seemed that Steyn made up for his wicket-less 69.2 overs in just two balls.
And then,the next one plucked out Rohit Sharma’s middle stump. That one swung in from Steyn and was too hot to handle for Sharma,who did not even offer a shot. Suddenly from being 198/1,India were 198/4 as Steyn stomp had struck Kingsmead.
The Indian dressing room anticipated more than a reason to celebrate when the well-set pair of Pujara and Vijay came on to the crease on Day 2 after the rain subsided. Pujara,who is aptly called the new ‘wall’ of Indian cricket,rose to the occassion and scored a patient 70. For Murali Vijay it was a case of so close,yet so far as he fell short by just 3 runs from getting his fourth Test ton. Rohit Sharma got yet another reason to wipe-off this tour of South Africa from his memory. All of it courtesy Dale Steyn.
The Wake-up call
South Africa took the second new ball in the 81st over and handed it over to (no prize for guessing) Dale Steyn. Ajinkya Rahane,who seemed to have gone off to sleep as he hardly scored anything in the six overs he played,got struck by an alarm clock traveling at a speed of 138kph. Rahane was not even watching the ball,looking to duck,off the forearm guard before clattering into the helmet,quite the wake-up call.