India makes a comeback against South Africa in Nagpur Test
Indian batsmen capitulated meekly against both pace and spin to be shot out for 215 before hitting back at South Africa with two early scalps on day one of the third and penultimate Test in Nagpur on Wednesday.
South Africa were reduced to 11 for two in their first innings at stumps after the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja claimed a wicket apiece on a dry, dusty pitch at the Vidharba Cricket Association stadium.
Stiaan van Zyl (0) and Imran Tahir (4) were dismissed cheaply, while Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar (7 not out) will resume their innings tomorrow.Earlier, off-spinner Simon Harmer and fast bowler Morne Morkel bamboozled Indians as the duo shared seven wickets between themselves.
Pujara was taken out by off spinner Simon Harmer who trapped him leg before and later got rid of a struggling Rohit Sharama (2) as India slumped to 125 for 6 from 50 for no loss in 32.2 overs on either side of lunch and then made a recovery of sorts.
Wicketkeeper Saha (32) and Jadeja (34) then repaired the damage with a stand of 48 in 106 balls.Jadeja played some attacking shots against the spinners before he threw away his wicket by trying a wild heave off Rabada after a brisk 73-minute knock that contained 6 fours.
But South Africa suffered a major blow when their main pace bowler in the game, Morkel, limped off the field after bowling the first ball of his fourth spell.India’s last four wickets added 90 runs to pull them out of a deep hole.
When South Africa replied, Ravichandran Ashwin again opened the bowling and sent back left hander van Zyl with a sharply turning ball that caught the edge and was pouched by slip fielder Ajinkya Rahane.
Tahir, who narrowly escaped a stumping appeal off Ashwin, was then bowled comprehensively by Jadeja as he played back to a ball that straightened after pitching and hit the off stump. A tantalising day’s play is on the cards on the morrow.
India are aiming to seal the series after losing the preceding T20 and ODI series against South Africa. The hosts are currently leading the four-match series 1-0 following their 108-run win in the first Test in Mohali.The second match between the two sides ended in a draw due to persistent rain and wet outfield.