Deteriorating light stopped play prematurely on day two of the third and final Test at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Sunday, but not before the Proteas lost two top-order wickets.
Opening batsmen Dean Elgar and Quinton De Kock were undone by Indian seamers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav. Both bowlers used short-ball tactics to get rid of the left-handers.
Captain Faf du Plessis and the recalled Zubayr Hamza, who replaced the out-of-form Theunis de Bruyn in the XI, will resume on Monday. The Proteas currently have 9-2 in response to the hosts’ hefty 497-9 declared, which was built on the back of opening batsman Rohit Sharma’s double-century.
Sharma’s 212 spanned 255 deliveries – and featured 28 fours and a sextet of towering sixes. It marked India’s third double-century this series. Opener Mayank Agarwal struck one in the first Test in Visakhapatnam – and captain Virat Kohli another during the second in Pune.
Debutant left-arm spinner George Linde, a late addition to the squad and then the XI in the absence of the injured Keshav Maharaj, recorded a telling 4/133 in 31 overs. An economy rate of 4.29 would have read significantly lower, had tail-ender Yadav not clobbered Linde for five sixes during an entertaining stay of 31 from just 10 balls.
The home side boast an unassailable 2-0 series lead after comfortable victories in Visakhapatnam and Pune.
India: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis (c), Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), George Linde, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi.
Photo: Gallo Images