The Ravichandran Ashwin assault continued, and South Africa were three wickets down by lunch on day one of the second Test against India on Saturday.
India brought back Ishant Sharma and Stuart Binny for this match, seamer Umesh Yadav and spinner Amit Mishra missing out, but it was Ashwin who once again gave the South Africans all sorts of problems as they went to lunch on 78-3.
Faf du Plessis produced his second duck of the series, caught rather brilliantly by Cheteshwar Pujara off Ashwin although the catch was referred by the umpires to check whether the ball had made contact with the ground.
The third umpire saw no reason to overturn the on-field decision
Du Plessis has now scored just one run in three innings in the series so far, prompting commentator Kepler Wessels to suggest that Hashim Amla move back to No 3 and Du Plessis to No 5.
Amla didn’t fare much better, getting clean bowled for seven after missing a fairly straight delivery from Varun Aaron which deviated only slightly.
Ashwin made his entrance in the eighth over and got a wicket straight away, trapping Stiaan van Zyl lbw for 10. Du Plessis lost his wicket in the same over and at 15-2 South Africa had their backs against the wall.
AB de Villiers got a rousing reception when he walked out in his 100th Test and together with Dean Elgar they have started to rebuild the innings, sharing a 33-run partnership which they will want to convert to three figures after lunch.
Picture: Associated Press