Team India were the better side on day one of the second Test against South Africa in Pune with the batters standing after some top-class bowling by the Proteas. Speaking at the end of the day’s play, Cheteshwar Pujara revealed that the visitors including Kagiso Rabada tried every possible way to disturb the concentration; however, failed in doing so.
The home side banked on a fine century from Mayank Agarwal and fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli to post 273 for three on day one. Meanwhile, the first hour of the Test match belonged to the visitors with three pacers – Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, and Anrich Nortje posing all sorts of difficult questions.
Rohit Sharma, coming on the back of twin tons, didn’t make it three-in-three. Post that, Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara added more than a hundred runs for the second wicket to set the tone. Although Pujara and Mayank got out after their individual fifty and century, Virat Kohli ensured their team went to stumps unscathed.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Pujara revealed that Kagiso Rabada tried to unsettle him verbally. But the Saurashtra batsman added that it didn’t bother him as he was in his zone during his 58-run knock.
“I can’t remember what he said. But he (Rabada) is someone who always likes to say something to the batsmen,” Pujara said. “As a batsman, I always know that he (Rabada) will try to disturb my concentration, not just him but any bowler, who passes a comment, so I try and avoid (listening to) what they say. If you are in your zone, you hardly hear what they are trying to say,” he added.
Team India will hope to put a good first innings total and stretch their lead bowling out South Africa for a small total. The onus will be on skipper Virat Kohli to convert his half-century into a big hundred and lead the batting from the front.