Play was due to start early Monday to make up for Sunday’s washout, but rain again kept the covers on, holding up day three of the Proteas’ second Test against India in Bengaluru.
Sunday’s play was called off shortly after taking an early lunch break, with no let-up in the rain.
India will be frustrated, eager to return to the crease on 80-0 chasing the Proteas paltry first-innings offering of 214.
The forecast for the next couple of days is not good.
The longer play is delayed, the longer the Proteas will be able to stay in it. And India will now need to play against time to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in this series.
Proteas coach Russell Domingo was in no doubt that his team have their backs to the wall. ‘We are a long way behind the game, but we know one session can get us back into it if we come and execute our plans well.’
‘We have to stick at it,’ he said. ‘Historically the first session at this ground tends to reap the rewards for the bowlers so we have to be very disciplined in the way we start. We have to hit the top of off-stump with the odd bouncer, it might sound simple but that is what our seamers have to do. We have to try and make some early inroads, we know that in this country the game tends to speed up, it’s not impossible to lose six or seven wickets in a session.’
Especially if the conditions start to favour the seamers.
But while sounding positive, Domingo was less than happy with the batting display the Proteas offered.
‘There were far too many soft dismissals,’ he said. ‘When you are playing against a quality bowling attack like India you have to limit the freebies that you give them. There were far too many soft dismissals for our liking.’
Only AB de Villiers, playing in his 100th Test resisted the Indian spin attack which brought Ravi Ashwin and Ravendra Jedeja four wickets apiece
De Villiers looked as though he was batting on a different surface to the rest of his team mates, finishing on 85 off 105 balls with 11 fours and a six. He was eventually dismissed to the last ball before the tea break to a highly controversial catch behind. There was considerable doubt as to whether he actually touched the ball.
But in the process he passed 1 000 runs against India in Tests – the fifth country against whom he has achieved this, the others being England, Australia, the West Indies and Pakistan.
Murali Vijay is on 28 and Shikhar Dhawan on 45.