When Rahul Dravid retired from Test cricket in 2012 after the dual disasters in England and Australia, he left an Indian group that wasn’t quick on high quality. But abroad, it lacked the backbone to place up a combat when put in a good nook.
SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED
A decade later, as coach, he has taken over a aspect that most likely would not have the aptitude in batting of the group that he performed for. But it greater than makes up for it with an unimaginable quantity of metal that has introduced India on the doorstep of conquering the ultimate frontier, South Africa, after conquering England and Australia.
The Monday fare at Wanderers was all about that grit and combat that has introduced India thus far. They misplaced their captain and greatest batsman Virat Kohli to higher again spasms within the morning, the pitch was the heady cocktail of seam and bounce, and the whole contribution of Nos. 3, 4 and 5 – thought-about the spine of a batting unit – made a cumulative contribution of 23.
Still, they discovered heroes from possible and unlikely corners to submit a complete of 202, which might be comfortably thought-about a preventing one. More so, in case you have a tempo quartet led by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami on a juicy pitch which is meant to quicken up.
South Africa, at 35-1 at stumps, will definitely not breathe simple, even when they consider that they’re very a lot within the recreation. The undeniable fact that Mohammed Siraj had a hamstring pull late within the day, although, might work within the hosts’ favour, if he’s unable to bowl on Tuesday.
The South African assault –which acquired an injection of tempo within the type of Duanne Ollivier –looked far more organized than the primary Test in Centurion. Even after Indian openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal had handled the primary hour, they didn’t lose coronary heart and stored attacking with the quick supply with the occasional sprinkling of the fuller one.
Mayank fell after the primary drinks break. Cheteshwar Pujara (3) and Ajinkya Rahane (0) failed once more, unable to cope with the tempo and bounce, whereas Kohli’s alternative Hanuma Vihari scratched round for a 20 earlier than falling to a different quick ball.
But there was Rahul, the stand-in captain, a Zen-like warrior, able to journey the storm. He will rating larger runs than the 50 that he managed on Monday, however this was an innings that he’ll bear in mind for a very long time.
He confronted 133 balls, which itself is an effective sufficient indicator of the persistence that he confirmed on this troublesome observe. Unburdened by the mantle of captaincy, he was completely clear in his thought course of, figuring out which one to play and which one to go away.
The drives have been crisp, the back-foot play immaculate, and the one mistake that he dedicated was the one which caused his dismissal. Left-arm pacer Marco Jansen‘s (4/31) supply rose steeply and Rahul could not preserve his pull down.
At 116-5, issues might have gotten a lot worse for India, however Ravichandran Ashwin determined to justify his allrounder’s billing. He confirmed braveness and did not thoughts going excessive when the ball was pitched up. He wasn’t precisely snug towards the quick ball, however the offie discovered a solution to survive and rating a quickfire 46 that gave India the oxygen to combat on.
Add to that the contributions of Shami and Bumrah and India had a rating which was greater than their first-innings complete the final time in Johannesburg. Or on the Oval a number of months in the past.
In Pics: South Africa 35/1 at stumps in reply to India’s 202 all out on Day 1 of second Test
<p>Rookie bowler Marco Jansen took 4 wickets as South Africa bowled India out for 202 of their first innings on the opening day of the second Test on the Wanderers on Monday. (Reuters Photo)</p>