• Maharaj: One of the toughest surfaces

    Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj has reflected on a difficult second day’s play, after India amassed 502-7 declared in the first Test at Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

    The tourists toiled for 136 overs, as double-centurion Mayank Agarwal and centurion Rohit Sharma capitalised on a pitch that was relatively tame.

    ‘It’s probably one of the toughest surfaces I’ve bowled on in terms of it being a lot slower and not biting,’ said Maharaj.

    ‘You got slow turn but the ball didn’t really kick off the wicket. When the ball got softer the odd one straightened or there was a little bit of bite‚ but the cracks have been opening because of the heat.

    ‘So there is a little bit of assistance coming through now as opposed to when we started. I’d say about a day and a half before that started happening.’

    Left-armer Maharaj finished with figures of 3-189 across 55 marathon overs. Fellow spinners Dane Piedt and Senuran Muthasamy, meanwhile, shared 34 overs.

    ‘I love bowling. Whether the outcome is five wickets or two wickets‚ I love bowling. As long as the feel of the ball in my hand is good then I’m on the right track,’ added Maharaj.

    ‘Long spells is something I’ve always wanted. It’s the long hours that I train alone that has given me the match fitness to bowl them.’

    The visitors’ reply slipped to 39-3. Opener Dean Elgar and vice-captain Temba Bavuma will resume on Friday. Opener Aiden Markram, No 3 batsman Theunis de Bruyn and nightwatchman Dane Piedt are out.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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