Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock shared a tiff, as the Proteas’ struggles continued on day two of the second Test against India at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
Captain Faf du Plessis defused De Kock and Rabada’s quarrel soon enough. The incident, however, typified the tourists’ difficulties during a session that yielded just one wicket.
Resuming on 273-3 overnight, the hosts climbed to 473-4 at the tea break on Friday. Spinner Keshav Maharaj’s 100th Test wicket was the lone breakthrough in the middle session, while a series of streaky edges from the bat of captain Virat Kohli past slip fielder Faf du Plessis compounded South Africa’s frustration.
Maharaj is the 17th South African Test cricketer to reach the milestone. He is the country’s fourth spinner to record the landmark, after the late Hugh Tayfield – and retired Paul Adams and Paul Harris.
Kohli moved to an unbeaten 194 during the 26th century of a prolific Test career. He now has as many as Australia’s Steven Smith, but from 14 extra innings. One more and he will equal former Proteas captain Graeme Smith’s tally of 27 Test tons.
Three of the talismanic Indian’s Test tons have come against South Africa. The first was 119 at the Wanderers in Johannesburg in 2013 – and the second 153 at SuperSport Park in Centurion last year.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, meanwhile, was formally warned by umpires Nigel Llong and Chris Gaffaney for running on the pitch. Du Plessis and teammate Dean Elgar, too, gestured to Jadeja to stop hitting the deck with the bat. Jadeja was officially penalised for a similar act during India’s Test against New Zealand in Indore three years ago.
Day one saw first Test double-centurion Mayank Agarwal welcome another three-figure contribution, after Kohli had won the toss and opted to bat first. This is Kohli’s 50th Test as captain. Only Test retiree Mahendra Singh Dhoni has more.
India: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Senuran Muthusamy, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
Photo: Gallo Images