The Proteas must be favourites to dismiss India on day two and take a substantial lead into their second innings.
South Africa won the toss on day one and managed to post 286 in somewhat challenging conditions at Newlands. Thereafter, the Proteas seamers combined to claim three wickets late in the day.
India will resume their first innings on day two with the score at 28-3. The tourists currently trail the Proteas by 258 runs.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma will have a crucial role to play for India in the first session. The Proteas will be looking to break this partnership sooner rather than later. Indeed, if the hosts manage to claim three quick wickets, they will be into the bowlers.
There is a bit of cloud around Newlands this morning. Pitch conditions should suit the bowlers early on, and the likes of Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn will be a handful.
That said, there’s also some bounce in the wicket, and Morne Morkel will be a factor – as seen by the manner of Virat Kohli’s dismissal late on day one. The ball is only 11 overs old.
It will be interesting to see how Pujara and Sharma approach the challenge. On day one, AB de Villiers enjoyed some success against the seamers when he attempted to play positively.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha and all-rounder Hardik Pandya are the next men in for the visitors. The former averages 32 at this level, while the latter is playing in just his fourth Test.
A penetrative performance by the Proteas bowlers in the first session will put India on the back foot. Indeed, the tourists would do well to surpass South Africa’s first innings score in these seamer-friendly conditions.
SA 286 (1st innings) – AB de Villiers 65, Faf du Plessis 62, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-87, Ravi Ashwin 2-21
India 28-3 (1st innings) – Morne Morkel 1-0, Dale Steyn 1-13, Vernon Philander 1-13
India trail by 258 runs
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