The Proteas’ chances of posting 350 hinge on Faf du Plessis and the lower-order on day two at Centurion.
South Africa were well placed at 182-2 at tea on day one. India hit back, however, to claim four wickets in the final session and reduce the Proteas to 269-6 at stumps.
Faf du Plessis (24) and Keshav Maharaj (10) will be at the crease when play resumes at Centurion this morning. Du Plessis has to crack on and get a big score from here. The Proteas captain’s approach may be shaped by the situation at the other end, though.
Maharaj scored some valuable runs for the hosts in the first Test at Newlands – 35 in the first innings and 15 in the second. While he has been selected as a specialist bowler, he will have a key role to play as a batsman today. The Proteas need Maharaj to support Du Plessis as they drive toward a total in the region of 350.
Ravi Ashwin bowled 31 overs on day one, and claimed three key wickets. The second new ball is only 10 overs old, and yet it wouldn’t surprise to see Virat Kohli calling on the off-spinner sooner rather than later this morning.
The visitors could well limit South Africa to 300 if they dismiss Du Plessis early.
SA 269-6 (1st innings) – Aiden Markram 94, Hashim Amla 82, Dean Elgar 31, Ravi Ashwin 3-90