Only one day’s cricket has been played in the second Test but South Africa already have their backs against the wall as India finished on 80-0.
South Africa will be searching for positives overnight with India 134 runs behind with 10 wickets in hand. The Proteas have only themselves to blame and the bowling attack rarely threatening throughout the last session.
Murali Vijay (28) and Shikhar Dhawan (45) will continue on Sunday, but India should have been a wicket down. Vijay mistimed a pull shot straight to Imran Tahir with the score on 64, but Tahir dropped the easiest of catches to let India off the hook.
A big bowling effort will be needed on day two for South Africa to get back into this game.
Vijay and Dhawan looked comfortable batting on this surface, underlining just how poorly South Africa batted.
JP Duminy’s off-spin was introduced for the first time after 16 overs, and Tahir 20 minutes before stumps as Hashim Amla preferred to lean on his seamers to get a breakthrough.
South Africa were bowled out for 214 shortly after tea. The innings unravelled quickly after AB de Villiers, in his 100th Test, fell agonisingly short of a well deserved hundred.
Morne Morkel (22 off 20) had a little cameo after tea, but Kagiso Rabada (0) and Kyle Abbott (14) fell in quick succession to leave India on top.
De Villiers (85) single-handedly kept South Africa in the game for most of the day, but lost his wicket just before tea to leave South Africa on 177-7.
It was a case of De Villiers vs India, as the rest of the batting order have been extremely disappointing again. If application was the problem in the first Test, nothing has changed.
De Villiers’ wicket coincided with the call for tea to be taken. He was caught behind but the umpires checked the catch upstairs. While the catch seemed fine, it didn’t look like the ball came off De Villiers’ bat or glove.
De Villiers looked like he was batting on a different surface compared to his teammates. His fifty came off just 59 balls as he is fought a lonely battle in the middle order.
The second session started in the worst way possible when Dean Elgar (38) played the ball on to his stumps trying to sweep Ravindra Jadeja (4-50) in the first over after lunch.
Duminy stuck around for 39 balls, scoring 15 runs before he edged Ravichandran Ashwin (4-70) to Ajinkya Rahane at slip. The problem for South Africa is that there is nothing particularly special about this pitch.
Like in the first Test, the surface here in Bengaluru didn’t offer much turn to the spinners and yet they took eight wickets between them.
South Africa lost three wickets in the first session before lunch for just 45 runs. Faf du Plessis produced his second duck of the series, caught rather brilliantly by Cheteshwar Pujara off Ashwin although the catch was referred by the umpires to check whether the ball had made contact with the ground.
The third umpire saw no reason to overturn the on-field decision
Du Plessis has now scored just one run in three innings in the series so far, prompting commentator Kepler Wessels to suggest that Amla move back to No 3 and Du Plessis to No 5.
Amla didn’t fare much better, getting clean bowled for seven after missing a fairly straight delivery from Varun Aaron which deviated only slightly.
Ashwin made his entrance in the eighth over and got a wicket straight away, trapping Stiaan van Zyl lbw for 10. Du Plessis lost his wicket in the same over and at 15-2 South Africa had their backs against the wall.
Picture: Associated Press