Opening batsman Dean Elgar and captain Faf du Plessis defied India through the opening session of the first Test’s third day at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.
Elgar and Du Plessis welcomed Test best scores in India during an unbroken 90-run alliance. The former struck 76 not out to the latter’s 48. The left-handed Elgar was particularly aggressive to spinner Ravindra Jadeja, while the right-handed Du Plessis proved strong through the leg-side against fast bowler Ishant Sharma. Both batsmen were solid in nullifying the threat posed during an extended spell by spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Elgar was dropped by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha on 74, while vice-captain Temba Bavuma had been removed lbw by Sharma earlier in the day.
The Proteas climbed to 153/4 at the lunch break – and will attempt to further reduce a daunting 349-run deficit through Friday’s second session.
India had amassed 502/7 declared on the back of a double-century from opener Mayank Agarwal and complementary ton from the hard-hitting Rohit Sharma. Sharma was especially severe on spinner Dane Piedt.
India: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada.
Photo: Gallo Images