The Proteas slipped to a precarious 39-3 in reply to India’s hefty 502-7 declared on day two of the first Test at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.
Opener Aiden Markram had collected centuries for South Africa A and the Proteas against India A and the Indian Board President’s XI late last month, but couldn’t convert this fine form into success at Test-match level.
He was bowled by spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who welcomed a first Test wicket since December 2018. Ashwin also removed the right-handed Theunis de Bruyn.
Nightwatchman Dane Piedt then perished for a duck. Opener Dean Elgar will resume alongside vice-captain Temba Bavuma on Friday to attempt to further reduce a large 463-run deficit.
India’s first innings was built on the back of opener Mayank Agarwal’s double-century and a complementary ton from fellow right-hander Rohit Sharma.
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.
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