India took full advantage of the conditions and poor shot selection to reduce South Africa to 230-7 at tea on day one.
The Proteas’ hopes of posting a substantial first-innings total were dashed when AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, and then Quinton de Kock departed in succession after lunch. The hosts will resume their innings in the third session with Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada, two specialist bowlers, at the crease. They would do well to surpass 300 from here and transfer the pressure back onto India.
De Villiers and Du Plessis were the heroes for the Proteas in the first session. The pair came together with the score at 12-3, and proceeded to take the fight to India. Shortly after lunch, however, De Villiers played a rash stroke and was bowled by Japsrit Bumrah.
Du Plessis flashed and was caught behind three overs later, while De Kock – who was hitting the ball well – received a peach of a delivery and edged it to the wicketkeeper. The latter dismissal saw Bhuvneshwar Kumar claiming his fourth wicket of the innings.
Mohammed Shami bowled Vernon Philander shortly before tea to remove the last recognised batsman (Philander is listed as all-rounder these days). Maharaj was lucky to survive after Shikhar Dhawan put down a regulation catch at second slip.
Maharaj hit Ravi Ashwin for a big six over long-off right before tea. He has the ability to score quickly, and could be a key man for South Africa during the early stages of the third session.
India will be looking to wrap up this innings as soon as possible. That said, the batsmen will have their work cut out for them in conditions that favour the likes of Philander and Dale Steyn.
SA 230-7 (1st innings) – AB de Villiers 65, Faf du Plessis 62, Quinton de Kock 43, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-68
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