After a disastrous start to the tour of South Africa, Team India needed something dramatic to save or harbour hopes of winning the 3rd and the dead rubber at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Ahead of the match, the pitch at the Bullring was expected to assist the fast bowlers even more than what was on offer at the Newlands in Cape Town and the SuperSport Park in Centurion.
The visitors employed a couple of changes in the team. Rohit Sharma who performed pretty poorly in the four innings he has played in the series so far was replaced by Ajinkya Rahane whose ouster from the team in the first couple of matches didn’t go down well with most of the cricket g Pundits and experts. For the first time in the series, it was Indian skipper Virat Kohli who won the toss and elected to bat first.
India was pegged early with the wickets of openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay. Vernon Philander bowled a terrific delivery which brought about Rahul’s downfall without even bothering the scorers. Vijay too fell in quick succession. It was Kagiso Rabada who induced an edge from Vijay’s bat which was safely pouched by Quinton de Kock behind the stumps.
Kohli and Pujara both got a reprieve as India somehow survive the first session:
The pitch was pretty difficult, and it was evident from how the batsmen approached the game. Cheteshwar Pujara didn’t score a single run in the first 44 deliveries. On the other hand, skipper Virat Kohli struck some exquisite shots and remained unbeaten on 24 of 52 deliveries which included three boundaries while Pujara was unbeaten on 5 of 66 deliveries.
India 45/2 in 27 overs (Virat Kohli 24*, Murali Vijay 8, Vernon Philander 1/1, Kagiso Rabada 1/15)
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