India vs South Africa: Gavaskar questions India's team selection for 2nd Test

Annette Crawford
January 14, 2018

That aside, Sharma has to his credit 564 runs from 10 One-day Internationals at an average of 62.67 and a highest of 171 not out in 2016. Both, however, missed their tons.

It was billed to be a "smell the leather" wicket at the SuperSport Park as India and South Africa came out on the opening day of the second Test in the three-game series on Saturday.

India fought back in the last session in which 37 overs were bowled, 87 runs scored and 4 wickets were taken.

Indian captain Virat Kohli has put himself in the bad books of cricket critics and pundits ever since making some shocking changes in the Indian team for the second Test against South Africa.

The Proteas were 35/0, with the right-handed Markram unbeaten on 25 and southpaw Elgar batting on 9. He took his time early on and stitched an excellent 99-run partnership with Pandya. The decision to consider young Bumrah over the experienced Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav also ruffled some feathers. Coming into the second game at Centurion after facing a 72-run defeat in the first Test, India opted for three changes in the playing Xl with KL Rahul replacing Shikhar Dhawan, Parthiv Patel coming in for injured Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma getting the nod ahead of Bhuvneshwar.

Dhawan, meanwhile, was axed from the side in favour of Lokesh Rahul. But Bhuvneshwar was in form (4/87 and 2/33), struck once each in his first three overs of the first Test, set it up for India.

Cape Town - South Africans know Ravichandran Ashwin all too well. But there wasn't sufficient evidence to overturn the on-field umpire's decision.

Markram was the aggressor, while Elgar batted with steely resolve and backed his defensive techniques to the hilt as the hosts reached 78/0 till the lunch session. Obviously these things have combined over the last few years and I have had a great time over the last 2-3 years. He was in a punishing mood but with a sensible approach.

As it turned out, Markam was outwitted by the shrewd Ravi Ashwin, who bowled arguably his best spell ever in South Africa. A fully stretched Parthiv dived to the left but the ball evaded his left hand. India were then looking down the barely with both Amla and AB de Villiers (20) ooking well-settled in the middle.

The hosts' misery was compounded when Vernon Philander was also out without scoring, charging down the wicket for a run as Du Plessis screamed at him from the non-striker's end to stop.

Except that Ashwin produced the hugely disappointing figures of 0-83 off 36 overs as South Africa claimed a draw, and almost won. Induces Kagiso Rabada to play a pull and Hardik Pandya does the rest at deep square leg by taking a forward-running catch. Carrying on from his run-up, he picked the ball, and threw it in one motion as Amla - a bit late to start - was caught a yard short at the non-striker's end. It was quite a big wicket considering Amla is known for playing big knocks and to see him back rejuvenated the Indians. He had bagged the crucial wickets of Elgar, Markram and de Kock on day 1.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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