The Proteas’ success was late but brisk on day two of the first Test against India at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.
India slipped from an intimidating 317 without loss to 450-5 at the tea break, with opener Mayank Agarwal’s double-century ended by part-time spinner Dean Elgar. The right-hander holed out to midwicket fielder Dane Piedt on the back of a full toss from Elgar. Agarwal’s 215 spanned 371 deliveries and featured 23 fours and six sixes. The score was almost three times as much as his previous-best 77 against Australia in Sydney earlier this year.
Seamer Vernon Philander had earlier bowled the talented Cheteshwar Pujara with the first delivery after lunch. Philander generated characteristic movement away from the right-hander to topple the off-stump. Debutant Senuran Muthusamy, meanwhile, had the talismanic Virat Kohli caught and bowled for a prized first Test wicket.
Thursday’s opening session was highlighted by newfound opener Rohit Sharma and Agarwal’s dominance, which was reminiscent of what Proteas pair Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla amassed against India in Nagpur nine years ago.
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