The Proteas need to be more assertive with the ball during the initial stages of day three at the Wanderers.
South Africa battled their way to 194 on day two. If not for Hashim Amla’s combative 61, and indeed the contributions of Kagiso Rabada (30) and Vernon Philander (35), the hosts may have collapsed for 150 or less.
That said, India remain in a strong position heading into day three. Philander made the breakthrough late on day two, dismissing Parthiv Patel. The visitors managed to recover from there and finish on 49-1.
At this stage, India lead by 42 runs and have nine second-innings wickets in hand.
India should be looking to consolidate from there. Stretching the lead to 100 or so, for the loss of just one or two wickets, will be the priority in the first session today. There’s no pressure on them to force the issue, though.
The opposite is true for the hosts. South Africa need to take three or four wickets before lunch. They have to dismiss Virat Kohli sooner rather than later, and they have to ensure that that lead remains in check.
The Proteas have to produce a more disciplined bowling performance. Their showing late on day two lacked accuracy and urgency. They failed to hit the right areas consistently.
The bowlers will have to be on point from the outset this morning. The ball is 17 overs old. There will be some cloud cover. There will be significant movement off the pitch. South Africa have to use these conditions to their advantage and strike sooner rather than later.
India 187 (1st innings) – Virat Kohli 54, Cheteshwar Pujara 50, Kagiso Rabada 3-39, Andile Phehlukwayo 2-25
SA 194 (1st innings) – Hashim Amla 61, Vernon Philander 35, Jasprit Bumrah 5-54, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3-44
India 49-1 (2nd innings) – Lokesh Rahul 16 not out, Vernon Philander 1-11
India lead by 42 runs