Centuries from opener Dean Elgar and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock charactersied the Proteas’ collective fight on day three of the first Test against India at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
The tourists moved to 385/8 at the close of play, leaving the deficit at 117 after the opposition had amassed 502/7 declared on the back of opener Mayank Agarwal’s double-century.
De Kock and Elgar shared a solid 164-run alliance, ensuring the hard work put in by captain Faf du Plessis earlier in the day was not wasted. De Kock struck 111 to Elgar’s 160 – and both were superb in largely nullifying the threat posted by spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ashwin eventually got rid of De Kock amid figures of 5/128 in 41 overs. He and fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja bowled 78 of the 118 overs on a pitch that tame during India’s innings but is generating more turn while the Proteas are at the crease.
The visitors’ score would have read substantially less, had De Kock and Elgar not been dropped on seven and 74, respectively. Silly point fielder Rohit Sharma and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha grassed sharp opportunities.
Elgar and De Kock’s Test centuries were the first for South Africa in India since 2010.
Debutant Senuran Muthusamy and tail-ender Keshav Maharaj will resume on Saturday.
India: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada.
Photo: Gallo Images