It has been a fascinating 2nd Test match so far between India and South Africa at the SuperSport Park in Centurion and even after the 3rd day’s play honours was shared between the two teams. However, a resolute partnership between AB de Villiers and Dean Elgar towards the day’s play did not allow India to continue their stronghold on South Africa and when bad light stopped play the hosts were 90/2 with a lead of 118 runs.
The day began with skipper Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya resuming proceedings for India at the score of 182/5. Kohli struck some magnificent drives to get the day going and eventually he reached yet another Test century to help India move towards safety. Hardik Pandya, on the other hand, was dismissed in the strangest of manners as he failed to ground his bat and was run out in one of the most strange ways.
Ashwin was the next man in as he smashed some exquisite drives to get his innings going. He has got a sensational touch of timing and it was quite evident from the shots he played during his knock of 38 of 46 deliveries. He smashed 7 fours during his innings before falling to Kagiso Rabada. Virat Kohli kept going and smashed some extraordinary shots to get past the 150 mark before falling in order to press on the accelerator.
The visitors were eventually bowled out for 307 leaving them 28 runs short of the South African first innings score. It was debutant from the previous match, Jasprit Bumrah who impressed yet again and removed Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla with brilliant deliveries directed towards the stump which struck him plumb in front and there was no hesitation in the batsman’s mind in ruling it in favour of the visitors.
However, following the early strikes, it was MR 360 AB de Villiers and opener Dean Elgar who resurrected their innings as both remained unbeaten when bad light brought a premature end of the day’s play. When stumps were taken South Africa reached 90/2 thus gaining an overall lead of 118 runs.
Following the day’s play, it was Jasprit Bumrah who spoke on the proceedings and gave insights on how eventful Day 3 was for the visitors. This is what Bumrah said,
“When we came, the outfield was wet so the ball went to the boundary sides and it got wet. So we asked the umpire, the ball is still getting wet, what do we do.”
We want the ball to be dry. The ball was swinging a little bit so the field is wet, both sides of the ball got wet and the ball didn’t swing anymore. We were just having a word with the umpire that the ball is wet so the ball won’t swing anymore. We were having a chat about what could be done in that situation
We were carrying a good momentum and we wanted to carry on. Its okay; we never get too disappointed because there is still a lot of play is left in the match. We don’t get too disheartened that this didn’t happen. We wanted to carry on but the things didn’t work out so its okay.
The game is still in balance if we get early wickets tomorrow. The match can be in anybody’s favour. We will look to create pressure tomorrow as well. I think the game is still in balance right now. We wanted to keep things simple and build pressure as a unit. We wanted to build pressure from both ends, thinking if we dry up their runs they will have to make some opportunities.
So we were just focusing on creating pressure. That was helping us and that was our basic game. It is always very challenging and AB is a world class batsman, everyone knows that. He has proved that over the years and he has done well everywhere. He is a great player and to do well against him always gives me confidence. I look at it as an opportunity and learn from it. You cannot be too hard on them because a lot of the game is still left. We cannot make fun of them or make them under pressure because we have to forget the catch and move forward now.
“Virat’s innings was very crucial for us and he brought us back into the game. We lost few early wickets yesterday as well, so he was playing an anchor role and until the end, he was fighting with us. It was a very important inning and he has always done well wherever he has gone. It was very important for us and it is good that the captain is leading from the front and taking responsibility.”
I am happy to bowl wherever my captain wants me to bowl. If he tells me to bowl upfront and be aggressive with the new ball, I am happy to do that. I am happy to do first change as well
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