Dean Elgar 86(240); | (240);
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 18-4-39-1; | Mohammed Shami 12.3-2-28-5
Josh Hazlewood 0(3); | (3);
Tom Curran* 9.2-0-35-5; | Jake Ball 10-0-58-0
Three slips and a gully in place. A short leg too. Bhuvi from over the wicket to Elgar
17:05 Local Time, 15:05 GMT, 20:35 IST: Back live. We have about 25 minutes to go till stumps today. India will need to make the most of whatever 6-7 overs they bowl. They have the new ball and a pitch that's still fresh. And they have Bhuvneshwar! Let's see what he's got
A statistical breakdown of India's 187 all out:112 in boundaries: 24x4 off the bat, 4 of them edged; 4 wides x1, 4 leg-byes x1, 4 byes x 2 = 59.89% runs in boundaries
South Africa opted for the light roller on this pitch. Logical, for they don't want to mess too much with it right now.
Here's something: This is the first time India have been bowled out on the first day of a Test in South Africa
16:56 Local Time, 14:56 GMT, 20:26 IST: It's way short of what India would have liked but given how the pitch has played, and given the number of fast bowlers they have fielded, bowling in the closing minutes of the first day might be a boon in disguise. We'll see. India's innings was all about Pujara's ridiculously good grit and Kohli's passionate statement of intent. Both were lucky, Kohli more so, but you need to be on tough pitches. And beyond that, it was the same old story of poor shot selections undoing everything that one partnership promised to achieve for India.
Rabada to Bhuvneshwar, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
A slip, short leg, leg gully. Rabada from round the wicket
So India 13 runs away from 200. Can they, can't they?
Lungisani Ngidi [14.0-7-22-1] is back into the attack
"AB de Villiers is off the field receiving treatment (icing) to a bruised middle finger. He hurt it when he took the catch to dismiss Kohli," informs Tristan.
Three slips and a gully in place for Bumrah now
Only two slips now that I look. And a third man who's a few yards in
Jasprit Bumrah, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Rabada to Ishant, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Kagiso Rabada [16.0-5-35-1] is back into the attack
Philander's swing has denied him more wickets than his seam has fetched him this series
Morne switches to round the wicket. Short leg and leg slip in..
The players are having drinks. South Africa have been all over India. Pujara started positively after tea and got a few boundaries off Ngidi, but having battled all the tougher bowlers, he nicked one off Phehlukwayo. Parthiv soon followed him, while Pandya played an atrocious shot to throw it away. South Africa are couple of good balls away from batting on this surface. Let's see how long the Indian tail defy them..
Ishant Sharma, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Philander to Shami, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Vernon Philander [15.0-8-22-1] is back into the attack
Third man is three quarters away
Mohammed Shami, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Phehlukwayo to Hardik Pandya, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Two slips and a straightish third man for the ramp
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Morne Morkel to Parthiv Patel, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Morne Morkel [12.0-3-35-1] is back into the attack
Hardik Pandya, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Phehlukwayo to Pujara, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Andile Phehlukwayo [3.0-1-11-0] is back into the attack
Lungisani Ngidi [10.0-7-7-1] is back into the attack
Welcome back for the final session of the day. A lot rests on Pujara if India are to put up a respectable total but he cannot do it alone either. The others, especially Patel and Pandya will need to chip in. Won't be easy though, on this surface and the Proteas will want to make further inroads quickly. Blue skies greet us at the Wanderers for the resumption. Three slips and a gully in place
Tea, Day 1: South Africa's session. You can argue that they got only two wickets, but those were two big ones. Kohli and Pujara defied South Africa's attack and luck to bat out the first hour after lunch, but the former's luck ran out once he reached fifty, drove away from the body and edged it to third slip. AB de Villiers, having dropped Kohli early on, made amends by claiming the sharp catch. A returning Rahane was tentative and got a lucky escape when Philander overstepped and had him caught behind, but the Indian vice captain soon fell to Morkel. Pujara is still battling and needs someone to bat with him. Are Parthiv and Co. up for the task? Back soon to find out..
Last ball before tea
Parthiv Patel, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Morne Morkel to Rahane, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
India review: Rahane has a long chat with Pujara and decides to review. It is for an LBW. Legal delivery. No bat as it missed it by a long way. This has to be missing for Rahane to survive. What does HawkEye suggest - clipping the leg-stump. Umpire's call. Rahane has to go.
Vernon Philander [12.0-8-14-1] is back into the attack
Morne Morkel [9.0-2-30-0] is back into the attack
Shortish backward square in place
Ngidi signing autographs to kids near the boundary while Kohli grimaces after seeing his dismissal on the Telly
Ajinkya Rahane, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Pujara-Kohli stands at Jo'burg: 89, 222, 84 (today)
Lungi Ngidi to Kohli, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
South Africa on the other hand maybe are trying too hard on a helpful pitch. And importantly, have been sloppy in the field. Here's Rabada to continue to Kohli. This is the contest that I like watching...
Looks like the players have taken drinks. Another hour that the Indians have battled on and won with some luck and grit. The pacers kept coming at them but the redoubtable Pujara and the fiesty Kohli have taken the score to 90/2 from 13/2. There was luck when AB dropped Kohli and when the Indian captain played and missed at ones he should have left. But Pujara has looked very much the immovable object he is known for. That's why he is rated so highly. On a spicy pitch, he is snuffing out everything that is being thrown at him. The "sponge" as I like to call him. Always calm, cool and never flustered.
Pujara pulls away. A bee or something near his face as Lungi Ngidi ran in
Lungisani Ngidi [5.0-4-3-0] is back into the attack
Kagiso Rabada [7.0-2-15-1] is back into the attack
The sun peeks out once more
The sun comes out
Short leg added now. But he is a bit deep
Morne Morkel [4.0-2-8-0] is back into the attack
Welcome back. Should be another fascinating session. More swing. More seam. A battle for sure. India as they did after losing two quick wickets, weathered the storm and battled through to lunch without further loss. More of the same is needed but for sure, the South African bowlers will come out with all guns blazing. The sun has gone to sleep again. Cloudy as we begin proceedings. Philander it will be to start...
The sun did peek out in the last fifteeen minutes or so and made batting a tad easier, but this pitch will continue to test the batsmen. There's enough lateral movement and swing in the air to keep the bowlers interested. There are five quicks playing for the hosts and it will be another serious examination after lunch. It must be said that India have done well to lose just two in that opening session. Can they continue to battle away? The second session will have all the answers. Back in a while and enjoy whatever which comes your way during the break...
In no time India were two down and under serious pressure. The ball was hoofing around corners and Philander was landing it on a string. His first spell read 8-7-1-1. Out of which four were consecutive maidens. Beat Pujara multiple times and had the Indian No. 3 tied up at his end. Unreal exhibition of swing and seam bowling from the master. At the other end, Kohli was up against Rabada and even though the Indian captain was getting beaten and hit on the pad, he was willing to take on the pacers. Whenever there was a hint of a bad ball, he put them away and that kept the scoreboard from being dead.
12:00 Local Time, 10:00 GMT, 15:30 IST: Kohli and Pujara are the first to leave the Bull Ring. And why not. They have been subjected to the most intense and brutal period of fast bowling in that opening session. Luck too has run their way. A review would've sent the latter packing and then Philander horribly misjudged a catch at mid-off to reprieve the Indian skipper. Had those chances been taken, the session's analysis and the scorecard would've painted a completely different picture. Brave call and still not sure whether it was the right one from Kohli when he opted to bat first after picking a side without a spinner.
Will get at best one more over before lunch. The physio taking a look at Pujara now. Andile will bowl the last over before lunch.
Faf chirps: "Going nowhere here boys, going nowhere"
Kaushik pings from Wanderers: "De Kock asks slip cordon to come closer for Andile"
Andile Phehlukwayo, right-arm medium, comes into the attack
Coming back to 19.3: Hawk-Eye showed three reds. Not high and South Africa missed a trick by not reviewing. Definitely out as it brushed the front pad first and then the back one later
Kohli is still seen shaking his head. Wasn't happy at the shot he played off the first ball of the over. A lapse in concentration and very lucky to be still there
Lungisani Ngidi, right-arm fast, comes into the attack
Can understand why Rohit Sharma and Dhawan are having a smile and a joke in the dressing room. Happy not to be playing on this!
Philander to continue with Pujara still on 0.
Time for drinks. Was it a good decision to bat first? India's choice will be under scrutiny after picking four fast bowlers and Pandya. They are two down and the ball is doing all sorts of things. There's swing, seam and lateral movement. Some balls are beating the bat by a fair margin and Philander looks utterly close to unplayable. Very tricky batting conditions and the spotlight will be on Kohli if his side are bundled out for a very low score - which is a realistic possibility on this. As far as India are concerned, they need to take the pitch out of their minds and play the ball on its merit. Easier said than done and South Africa have five seamers as well. Five! Good luck!
Three slips and two gullies in place. Entire region from backward point till mid-off is free
Virat Kohli, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Rabada to Vijay, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Rabada too has three slips and a gully
Kagiso Rabada, right-arm fast, comes into the attack
South Africa review! The inswinger that has pinged Pujara on the front pad and Philander was up straightaway. He always thinks it's out, doesn't he? Coaxes du Plessis into the review. Could be a bit high I reckon. Nothing on the UltraEdge or Snicko. Over to HawkEye now, umpire's call it shall be! Clipping the top of the leg stump
Cheteshwar Pujara, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Philander to Rahul, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Vernon Philander, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Four slips in place
Vijay and Rahul are at the crease. Vijay is on strike. Morne Morkel will open the attack
Done with the national anthems of both sides and it's now showtime. The players and umpires have made their way out to the center. All set for the live action to begin. Three slips and a gully in place
Statbuzz: This Joburg Test is only the third time India are fielding an XI without a specialist spinner since 1990
Meanwhile, this is the Big Vern's 50th Test match. What a performer he has been for the Proteas! 183 Test wickets at a stunning average of 21.95 and a brilliant strike rate of 48.5, incredible indeed. He would be keen to cap it off with a big haul and a possible series whitewash as well. Couldn't have asked for better conditions in his landmark game.
Deepu has one more for us. In the last 10 innings when India have opted to bat first in the away Tests, their average first innings score has been 482 -- Of course it's a stat inflated by India's tour of Sri Lanka and West Indies but it does suggest intent. Well that's a word overused, no?
Here's a stat to warm you up to Kohli's decision: Only once in the last 15 Tests has the team winning the toss opted to field first at the Wanderers. That was SA against NZ in 2006, when the hosts won by 4 wickets
South Africa (Playing XI): Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis(c), Quinton de Kock(w), Vernon Philander, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungisani Ngidi
India (Playing XI): Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel(w), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
Du Plessis: "We were thinking to bowl first. Wanting to get into their batting line-up. Our bowlers have been on top of them and hence, we would have wanted to bowl. If there is a lot of sunshine, the cracks could widen but if it stays overcast with a bit of rain, then there could be a lot of movement. Hopefully, there shouldn't be much rain. It's also quite hard than it's been here and that's why we wanted to bowl. Yeah, Jo'burg never really spins and hence so the spinner usually has to do a holding role. So,that's the one change we have, Andile in for Keshav. They are always a quality side and it's a good motivation for us to beat them 3-0."
Kohli: "We are going to bat first. There is a good grass covering here and it's always been there. If we bat first and bat well, it's always an added advantage. (On the good record at Jo'burg) We've played some really good cricket here. Even the last time around, we did well. Should be a good contest. We are up against a side who are really strong in their conditions as they have shown in the first two Tests. We are trying to improve as a side and correct our mistakes. It's never too late to do it. We have two changes. Rahane replaces Rohit and Bhuvneshwar comes in for Ashwin."
India have won the toss and have opted to bat
Time for the all important toss Michael Holding with the two captains and the match referee Andy Pycroft. Tails the call, it is a tail
Quite in line with 13 Oscar nominations, the five days are supposed to be wet, with thunderstorms predicted for all five days. But given that this is a greeeeeen pitch with some cracks, meaning the first and the fourth innings can be formalities, we are bound to have a result.
"If you are wondering why I'm not passing on any SA updates, it's because they are majorly doing group drills - fielding and stretches .... Also they are on the other end of the ground. From my place in the media box, I can see only 40% of the ground," explains Kaushik on the absence of SA updates
Pitch Report: "There is a very thick covering of grass and the surface is quite hard as well. There are a few cracks as well. As the game goes on, if the sun comes down, the cracks could widen. There could be two thoughts on this - either bat first and expect the surface to quicken up later or take the gamble on such a surface and insert the opposition in. If you ask me, I would definitely bowl first after winning the toss in these conditions," says Shaun Pollock after having a look at the 22-yard strip.
Fondly called as The Bull Ring, the Wanderers is considered to be a happy hunting ground for the Proteas. However, their recent form at the venue has been a bit up and down, W L D W L W L reads their sequence here over the last 10 years. For India, this is a venue where they haven't lost a Test match. Now that's not as farcical as the Oscar nominations announced yesterday (yeah, not a big The Shape Of Water fan) but it is in many regards, given how India have carved a timid overseas image for themselves for the years.
"So two swaps as I see it: Rahane for Rohit; Bhuvi for Ash. Unless the grass covering mysteriously disappears in the next few minutes," concludes Kaushik on India's prospective changes
I've enabled Have Your Say for this match. So start firing in your comments from our desktop website. If you absolutely can't, drop me a tweet at @prat1204 and be kind. I don't have the latest android or a supercomputer, okay?
"Parthiv, Pujara, Vijay, KL, and Rahane at gully. Pandya is marking his runup," is something we are hearing.
Our man, Kaushik Rangarajan has a few bytes for us regarding India's playing XI. "Ishant and Shami start proceedings on the side wicket. Bumrah and Bhuvi join in. If its a Pace quartet, its not a surprise."
A warm welcome from your host Pratyush Sinha then, who's trying to make sense of how a captain's constructive intention to undo years of passiveness has led to this.
09:00am local: Located in the attic of a game shop in New England, 'The Game Loft' is an uncommon playground for nerds who don't exactly flourish in the public eye. Such people gather here and play. Not football, not cricket, but Dungeons and Dragons, a tabletop role-playing game where you aren't behind a computer screen but actually sitting at a table, unleashing light sabers and wizardry. This participative story-telling exercise has been known to help the quiet kind, who, let's be honest, are everywhere. They're in the Indian squad, too, trying hard at role play, completely unaware that eleven Virat Kohlis won't win a game for India. One Virat Kohli and ten others will.
Preview by Tristan HolmeThe series may have been decided, but for South Africa and India there is a parallel contest that will continue in the third Test at the Wanderers, which starts on Wednesday (January 24). It is the contest to be recognised as the best Test team in the world, a title that will be up for grabs over the coming months.The crown still rests on India's head for the moment, but it is sitting a little less firmly than before. Not only has their winning run in Test series been ended the moment they encountered a top-five opponent abroad, but there is a sense of uneasiness about how they have gone about their business in South Africa - one that has been most evident in their muddled selection thinking. While they can not lose their No. 1 ranking this week, they must use the third Test to find a formula for overseas success that can sustain their position in the year to come, when further examinations await in England and Australia.For South Africa to overtake them on the rankings table, victory at the Wanderers is crucial - the game is essentially worth a four-point swing. Win 3-0 and they will have the opportunity to topple India during Australia's tour in March, when they would need to win the series by two clear Tests. If they lose, they will be reliant on India slipping up in England. With a green pitch set to aid the seamers this week, a draw looks very unlikely, so a straight shootout beckons.Just as India will want to establish their best game plans for their upcoming tour of England, so South Africa will want to fine-tune theirs for the visit of Australia. Faf du Plessis gave some insight into how South Africa are looking at that series when he said: "You're going to have two fantastic bowling attacks smashing it out and batters just trying to survive. Australia as a team - if I look at them right now, their bowling is definitely their strength, they have a few world-class batsmen but there are a few gaps in their batting line-up that if you can expose, you can get stuck into them."It's not too dissimilar to the Indian cricket team right now. And we felt the same about the English team, very strong bowling attack but if you can somehow put a good total on the board, which we have done in this series, your bowlers should be able to be better in their own conditions."While this is the broader context in which the third Test will be played, neither side will be getting ahead of themselves. Du Plessis confirmed after the Centurion win that South Africa would be prioritising a 3-0 whitewash, which means they will pick their strongest team for the Test rather than experimenting for the next series. Likewise India are looking to build on the promising elements from the first two Tests, in which they were competitive for extended periods. "We are going to treat this Test as an individual Test match - we need to come out and play our best cricket and try to be in the same positions we were in the first two Tests and then try to consolidate on it and actually close the game," said Virat Kohli.The first two Tests have been absorbing of divergent affairs. With the Wanderers likely to be the quickest pitch of the series, another entertaining battle is on the cards.When: January 24-28, 10:00 local time; 13:30 ISTWhere: Wanderers, JohannesburgWhat to expect: After the surprisingly dry surface at Centurion, the series will return to classic South African conditions. The Wanderers rarely gets it wrong as far as their pitches are concerned, and groundsman Bethuel Buthelezi has maintained a carpet of green in the lead-up to the Test that will allow him to leave the exact covering of grass that he deems appropriate. There will certainly be pace, bounce and carry, and a thorough contest between bat and ball. With some rain forecast for each day of the Test (although less on the opening two days) we may have some delays, but the drainage at the Wanderers is excellent.Team News:South AfricaHow many fast bowlers is too many? That's the question South Africa will be pondering as they pick their side at a venue where they have not played a spinner in the past two Tests. Keshav Maharaj will almost certainly be left out again, but should the Proteas bulk up the batting with Theunis de Bruyn or pick another seaming all-rounder in Andile Phehlukwayo? Chris Morris is on paternity leave as he awaits the birth of his first child. The fact that South Africa considered five seamers for Centurion suggests that they might well go the Phehlukwayo route for the third Test.Probable XI: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi.IndiaIndia have been unpredictable in their selection thus far, so probably the only safe thing to predict is more changes. Ironically they might end up with the side that most expected them to start the series with - Ajinkya Rahane will surely get a game, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar should return. The final decision would then relate to whether Rohit Sharma or Ravichandran Ashwin is likelier to be an asset.Probable XI: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel (wk), Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma/Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.Did you know?- The Wanderers may be seen as the most quintessentially South African ground, but India have never lost a Test here. One of their two victories in South Africa came here, and their other three Tests at the venue were drawn.- Vernon Philander will play his 50th Test for South Africa, and the landmark comes at one of his more successful grounds - he has taken 21 wickets in four Tests at the Wanderers at an average of 18.33.- The game moves quickly at the Wanderers. In the last four Tests at the ground, runs have been scored at 3.25 per over, while wickets have fallen on average every 28 runs.What they said:"You have to put the ego aside, we all want to be the hero at the end of the day. We all want to put up our hand to be Man of the Match but not every surface is going to allow that. It is about being mature enough to understand that your end might not be the one to strike from and to play your role accordingly to make sure the other bowlers get the best conditions to strike." - Vernon Philander talks about being part of a four-man pace attack."Definitely the things that worked for us last time, we'll focus on that. Although there is more grass on the wicket this time, but you know the pace and bounce will probably be similar to what it was in 2013. Their bowling attack is slightly different but (Morne) Morkel and Philander are playing which was the case last time also. Look, we have to take the positives from that Test, what worked for us, what other things we have to repeat again to be able to perform at this game or this venue." - Virat Kohli takes strength from India's performance at the Wanderers in 2013.
India (From): Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Parthiv Patel(w), Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
South Africa (From): Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis(c), Quinton de Kock(w), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungisani Ngidi, Theunis de Bruyn, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Duanne Olivier
Right then, all set for the action to resume. Massive passage of play till stumps, this could very well define the game I reckon. The Proteas will want to knock 3-4 wickets quickly if not more and that's a possibility on this pitch to be honest. India will not be worrying about runs much as long as they don't lose more than 2 wickets today. Hold on, India have sprung a surprise with the opening slot. It's the wicket-keeper batsman who has been promoted which means Rahul will drop down to the middle order
34 catches by wicket-keepers in this series is the most in a series of three or fewer Tests
16:05 Local Time, 14:05 GMT, 19:35 IST: Phew, what a day this has been so far! Lots of twists and turns. South Africa have the lead but that's all we can say because it is a very slender one. Neverthless, on a pitch like this, every run is worth its weight in gold. Amla's fifty was the cornerstone of the Protea innings with invaluable contributions from nightwatchman Rabada and then Philander. Their efforts ensured that the hosts just about got ahead in terms of the lead. India were led by the relentless duo of Bumrah and Bhuvi, both of whom were outstanding. That has meant that this match will now virtually be a second innings shootout between the two sides. With SA having to bat last, you could say India have an advantage but for that, they need to put runs on the board too. The Indian innings isn't far away. Don't go anywhere
Bumrah to Lungi Ngidi, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Lungisani Ngidi, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Bumrah to Phehlukwayo, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Phehlukwayo has been given out LBW to a full toss. He decides to challenge this. Fair delivery and there doesn't seem to be any bat involved. Nothing on UltraEdge and Snicko. So now all down to HawkEye, hitting leg stump!
Morkel had a bit of magic spray from the physio and is ready to resume
Morne Morkel, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Shami to Philander, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
There is a light drizzle now. Nothing heavy yet
Andile Phehlukwayo, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Bumrah to Amla, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Mohammed Shami [8.0-0-29-0] is back into the attack
Jasprit Bumrah [14.0-2-37-2] is back into the attack
The physio has come out to attend to Philander. Not the first time he has copped a blow and South Africa would hope it's not anything serious because he has a big role to play when India bat again. Seems good to resume
Welcome back for the final session. It's been a well-contested bout thus far and the game is pretty much in the balance. With still 40-odd in the bank, you could say that India are marginally happier but Amla is still there. How he and the lower order respond would be the key. More thrills and entertainment guaranteed as it's time for live action to resume. It shall be India's gun bowler, Bhuvneshwar Kumar to start after tea. Two slips and a gully in place
Tea, Day 2: Another intriguing Test match session in this series. The start from India was excellent. To keep AB calm was brilliant one thought and Bhuvi bowled a beauty to knock down the middle stump. Faf never looked settled and misjudged an incoming delivery from Bumrah, while de Kock played a loose drive to edge Bumrah to Parthiv. Just when India were right on top, Philander has come out positive, trying to score with every single opportunity available. Amla has held one end up. Copped a few blows and survived a few close shaves with DRS, but the key for South Africa is he's still there. Both teams fighting for a lead. The final session on Day 2 promises to be action-packed as well. Join us in a bit for the cricket.
Another pause. Looks like Amla has broken the bat this time
Hardik Pandya [1.0-0-1-0] is back into the attack
Ishant Sharma [11.0-2-24-1] is back into the attack
Vern wants to change his bat, looks like he's broken it
Four slips for Vern
Vernon Philander, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Bumrah to de Kock, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Appeal for LBW, not given and India have reviewed. Fair delivery, no bat involved, looks to be snaking down the leg-side, missing and India lose a review
Mohammed Shami [4.0-0-15-0] is back into the attack
Round the wicket, the away-swinger is going to be tough to face if he bowls around the 4th-5th stump line
Quinton de Kock, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Drinks time! India have bowled very well as a unit post the lunch break. There have hardly been any freebies. Loads of help from the pitch and the areas have mostly been very good. South Africa cannot let India bowl to their plans if they are to take the lead.
Bumrah to du Plessis, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Amla given OUT LBW, but to me the impact is well outside off stump. Well, the impact is almost where a fifth stump would have been, successful review for Amla.
Jasprit Bumrah [8.0-2-21-0] is back into the attack
Hardik Pandya sent to short mid-wicket for the uppish flick
AB de Villiers has been dismissed bowled thrice this series - in the first innings of each of the three Tests. The only other time it's happened was in the two-Test series in SL in 2014
Faf du Plessis, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Bhuvneshwar to de Villiers, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Coming back to the Amla LBW review. After signalling for DRS, onfield umpire Ian Gould reckoned that Amla hit that and that is the reason for him to rule that in favour of the batsman.
Review against Amla for LBW. Height the problem again. Hit just above the kneeroll. Umpire's call again! Frustration for India.
Short mid-wicket in for AB
Bhuvneshwar Kumar [11.0-7-17-2] is back into the attack
Just feel India need to close the off-side for Amla. Have square leg, mid-wicket, mid-on etc. and make Amla play through the off-side (more towards cover) against Ishant incoming deliveries. That will negate Amla's shuffle to an extent as well
Interestingly, there is a leg slip for Amla - probably to stop him from glancing them fine for runs.
Welcome back to what is an important session in the context of this game. The side that wins the next two hours may well gain the upper hand. Rabada showed great steel in the morning. AB is key to the Proteas' progress. For India, it's all about can they not let AB dictate terms. Serious Test for the Indian pacers in helpful conditions. Ishant will begin the session...
Will reverse swing come into play? Yes it will, but only if India can take care of the ball. With no spinner in the lineup, the next session should be relatively easy for batting. But having said all that, the pitch has enough life in it to keep everyone interested. A riveting session awaits us all. Do join us shortly to see how that pans out. Before that take a break and remember to stay tuned...
India to their credit bowled well, but they got more and more frustrated by Rabada's obdurate methods and Amla's unorthodoxy. A few bad balls came and it was put away. Maybe they could've bowled a bit fuller, apart from Bhuvi, who was outstanding once more. The ball is now 31 overs old and till the 60 over period, is when batting becomes a bit easier. And South Africa arguably have their two best long-format players in. Anything loose and they will look to capitalise on.
12:00 Local Time, 10:00 GMT, 15:30 IST: A session which South Africa will be very happy with. And for that they have to thank Rabada - their nightwatchman. After the early loss of Elgar and with Bhuvi and Ishant hooping the ball around corners, he stuck in, played inside the line as much as possible, close to the body and didn't fiddle at ones which he needn't to. Then unfurled a couple of beautiful flamboyant strokes too. Along with Amla who changed his stance and his way of playing - deliberately getting outside the line with a big shuffle to negate the lbw and making the bowlers bowl to his strengths, the hosts have inched ahead by losing just two wickets.
Could well be the last over before lunch
Now Hardik Pandya misses his run. Then sprints back. He is certainly a man for the spotlight - good or bad!
Hardik Pandya, right-arm medium, comes into the attack
AB de Villiers, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Ishant to Rabada, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
The umpires keep a close eye as Amla gets medical attention. A puff of dust when the ball landed on the good length spot. Worrying signs for batsmen. Amla looks fine and is doing a bit of stretching. Willing to soldier on.
A catching fielder is taken off and now placed at cover
Ishant Sharma [5.0-2-7-0] is back into the attack
Bhuvneshwar Kumar [9.0-7-4-2] is back into the attack
Now round the wicket
67* is now the most number of balls Rabada has faced in a Test innings. He beat the record he created a few days back at Newlands; 66 balls in the first innings.
As far as the batsmen are concerned, they have to forgot what happens when you get beaten and move on. That is the nature of this pitch. Shami to continue...
One hour done and it is drinks. How well has Rabada done? He has been beaten on numerous occasions, but hasn't affected him one bit. Played close to the body and inside the line, and didn't push out at ones he doesn't need to play. Has frustrated the Indians after the fall of Elgar who was set up beautifully by Bhuvneshwar before getting the nick. The pitch has probably quickened up a tad and there's a lot of life on this. The bowlers will be in play the whole game and that is a heartening sight.
India's slip cordon today: Che, KL and Pandya in that order. Rahane gully and Vijay short leg
Poor over from Shami. Can't take one innings in this match to get his rhythm. By then the match may well be over
Kohli chirps in Hindi after that last ball: "bat tootgaya iska" [his bat is broken]
Mohammed Shami, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Jasprit Bumrah [3.0-2-3-0] is back into the attack
Five outswingers! Inswinger next?
Interesting to see Amla has changed his technique to play on this wicket. He is doing a Smith by shuffling well across when before the bowler could bowl. He is attempting to take the lbw out of the equation. Will have to wait and watch whether this ploy will work
Three slips, gully and a short leg in
Three slips, a gully and a short leg in
"How different is this pitch from the one in Nagpur in terms of hostility?" asks Chandan Kushwah. Let us know your take through the Have Your Say option on our website. For the unfortunates, who're away from a desktop, you can temporarily tweet to @prat1204 and I'll try to pick the good ones from there as well. Get firing!
Hashim Amla, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Bhuvneshwar to Elgar, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
A very good over from Ishant, but no luck. Too good to get the edge and when he did get one, it went of the fielders
Four slips in place now
Aleem Dar is having a word with Elgar regarding walking down the track. There are a few cracks there
Ishant Sharma, right-arm fast, comes into the attack
Round the wicket
Right then, moments away from live action. The players and umpires are making their way out to the middle. Good pleasant day in Jo'burg, the sun is out as well. Bhuvi to start the day's proceedings, he has three slips and a gully in place
Pitch Report: "Looks a fairly lively surface. There are quite a few cracks near the short of a good length area which provides a lot of drastic deviation. This could be a pattern and get more pronounced as the game progresses. The lengths will be the key because hitting the stumps will be the ideal length here. Doesn't mean half volleys but surely need to bowl fuller. The older ball could be a touch easier to bat relatively but at no stage in this game will batting be actually easy," says Shaun Pollock while inspecting the surface.
Jamie Alter doesn't mince words on the batting performance. "Is 187 a decent total given the unpredictable nature of the pitch? Whichever angle you look from, India underwhelmed again."
Anand Vasu feels that the moment is already gone for India in this game. "Win the toss and what have India chosen to do? Bat and bowl on the first day. If you choose to bat 187 is simply not good enough."
Aakash Chopra points out the biggest worry for Team India at the moment. "Openers failed again...and unless they find form in the second innings, India will start the tour to England very unsure about the top two."
Sanjay Manjrekar isn't pleased with the (lack of) responsibility Pandya has in this Test XI. "India lost a chance to send Hardik Pandya at no 6 ahead of Parthiv, just to put pressure on him as a batsman. His future in this Indian Test team lies only as a batting allrounder."
Sandeep Dwivedi of the Indian Express made a valid point regarding batting here at the Wanderers. "The day’s two half-centuries – Kohli (53) and Pujara (50) – showcased two different batting genres. The two innings also highlighted the fact that there was no fixed batting approach, or a template, needed to score runs on this lively green Wanderers pitch. Batsmen could afford to play to their strengths, show patience and, with a bit of luck, counter the tough conditions and the disciplined South African pace attack."
Certainly looks about 40-50 runs below par but there was a time yesterday in the first session when it seemed like even 150 might be a good total. It is a juicy surface indeed and the bowlers should have further assistance as the days go along. If anything, it is expected to get quicker today and tomorrow. The morning session could be paramount because it's the new ball which could decide the tone of the day's play. South Africa will know that if they can just get one partnership of 75-80, it could put a lot of pressure on the Indians who would ideally want 4-5 wickets this morning. Should be another thrilling day. This is Hariprasad Sadanandan welcoming you all to the coverage of the second day's play. Feed yourself with a bit of the media reactions regarding yesterday's play.
Day 2, 09:00 local: It was an action packed first day here at the Wanderers with the ball swinging, seaming and bouncing all over the place, pretty much on expected lines. I say expected because both teams had left out their lone spinner respectively and stacked their side with seamers, anticipating just this. That's why Virat Kohli's decision to bat yesterday raised eyebrows but you could tell where he was coming from. With batting being the weaker suit (ironically) this series, he wanted India to put runs on the board, even if it meant giving a potent South African attack the first use of this pitch. The cracks were also a factor perhaps because that would make batting last a difficult task. However, with just 187 on the board, has the decision been vindicated?
Cheteshwar Pujara, after an obstinate fifty: It was one of the toughest pitches I've batted on. I really had to work hard to score runs. Overall we batted well. The runs on the board are sufficient and we can bowl them out. I think it's a good batting effort at the end of the day. Lot of deviation and it was initially very slow, but there was enough bounce in the pitch. There was a lot of lateral movement and a lot of deviation off the cracks. This was tougher than the Cape Town surface. We were just surviving out there. A good partnership (with Virat) but we were getting beaten too. You're never really in on this wicket and if we bowl well, we are in with a good chance. I think our current total is as good as scoring 300 on a normal pitch and we are used to bowling better lengths than the South Africans and I think it is very difficult to get our bowlers away if they bowl in those areas.
All in all a theatrical day on offer, thanks to the marriage between a tough pitch and a slow death of Test batting skills. A good second day's then set up for us, when every Indian bowler will run in to prove 187 more than it seems. There's some rain predicted for tomorrow, and the rest of the Test, but that should only help the pitch retain its spice. Cya tomorrow, ta-ta!
Four times now that Rabada has gone out as night watchman and all times, he saw off the day's play.Previous instances:9(10) vs NZ, Wellington, 2017 (18 mins)27(55) vs Eng, Lord's, 2017 (55 mins)5(33) vs Ind, Cape Town, 2018 (52 mins)
Lowest all-out totals for India with at least two individual 50s:165 v Eng, Leeds, 1952171 v Aus, Chennai, 1969/70182 v Eng, Manchester, 1974187 v WI, Bridgetown, 1961/62187 v SA, Joburg, 2017/18 *
Stumps, Day 1 -- 05:31pm local: It's a good day to sit on the fence. India's widely ridiculed decision to bat first on a green Wanderers pitch looked to have come off in the second session, when Kohli's shots (and luck) and Pujara's defence (and luck) led South Africa into a bout of sluggishness. Kohli in fact was dropped twice, but once he was nicked off by Ngidi, again, Pujara failed to carry on for too long. India then lost the plot -- not to another failure by the openers, not to Kohli's call at the toss either, but to Andile Phehlukwayo, who picked Pujara and Pandya in successive overs in the last session to undo all of India's early hard work and actuate a boringly predictive collapse.
Elgar has his right glove off at the non-striker's end
This over is a bonus for India. They need to strike
Looks like we'll get one more. Those Bhuvi's sprints helped.
Probably the last over of the day
He'll take his own good time with the physio, will Elgar. He doesn't want to face too many..
Four slips and a gully in place. Bhuvi from round the wicket
Whaaaat? Let's catch a glimse of Rabada
Kagiso Rabada, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Bhuvneshwar to Markram, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Now from round the wicket
Jasprit Bumrah, right-arm medium, comes into the attack
Three slips and a gully in place and a short leg. They have a plan for Elgar. Bumrah gets the same field
Here's India's slip cordon: Pujara, Rahul and Pandya at first, second and third
Kohli is standing at mid-off, not second slip
No short leg for Markram
Elgar and Markram are at the crease. Elgar is on strike. Bhuvneshwar will open the attack
Welcome back for the chase. It's a tough task ahead for South Africa, considering the pitch but cricket is a funny game. If the Proteas can get a good start upfront, it could ease the nerves in the dressing room. Having said that, the odds are definitely stacked against the hosts. A crucial passage till stumps coming up. Three slips, a gully and a short leg in place
India while defending a target of 225 or above - 89 times. 2 losses, 47 wins, 40 draws. The last defeat came in 1987.
Highest chases at the Wanderers:310 Aus v SA, 2010292 Aus v SA, 2006217 SA v NZ, 2006164 SA v WI, 1998
Highest successful run chases against India (outside India)342/8 ----------> by Australia at Perth 1977215/6 ----------> by New Zealand at Wellington 1998211/5 ----------> by South Africa at Cape Town 2007196/2 ----------> by West Indies at Bridgetown 1989176/3 ----------> by West Indies at Port of Spain 1962
FYI, South Africa have opted for the heavy roller hoping that it will flatten the pitch out. Well, that also might burst the cracks wide open. We'll see..
16:15 Local Time, 14:15 GMT, 19:45 IST: This innings has been quite a batting excursion from India, with their batsmen defiantly eager to stay on a tough pitch and racking on the runs to redeem a poor series. And Kohli was the face of that fight, batting to ridicule the struggles other batsmen have had to face. Rahane was the other winner, making a well-composed 48, and then Bhuvneshwar and Shami's show led India onto a very good total. What have South Africa got?
Philander to Bumrah, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Vernon Philander [21.0-5-61-2] is back into the attack
So, India survive. For now. Should Kohli declare? His two prime bowlers run an injury risk. Second new ball taken.
There's a short leg as Morkel runs from round the wicket
Kohli rubbing suncream onto his neck in the dressing room. Declaration is near
So I can see a short leg, catching point, leg slip, two staggered slips and gully
Men around the bat
Morne Morkel to Bhuvneshwar, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Morne Morkel [19.0-4-47-2] is back into the attack
Two slips and a gully in place for Ishant
Lungi Ngidi to Shami, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Lungisani Ngidi [9.0-2-28-0] is back into the attack
Delightfully, that leaves us with Shami vs Mr. X at the other end. Who's going to be Faf's X? Rabada, still from round the wicket
Guess who's on strike
Sun's out in full fury
Morne Morkel to Rahane, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Vernon Philander [17.0-5-44-2] is back into the attack
"Could be a turning point for India, this innings, in how they play overseas," says Graeme Smith on air
One slip and a gully for Morkel. Make that two slips and a gully. He'll want more than a wicket on this pitch, certainly.
Out come the South African players. They'll hoping to have left the lethargy behind after a god awful session in the field. Rahane and Bhuvneshwar, though, will want to carry on for as long as they can. What have you got for us this session, Test cricket?
14:58 Local Time, 12:58 GMT, 18:28 IST: So, last session of the day that succeeds the one which was thoroughly India's. We'll see South Africa bat in this, surely. Grey clouds have been competently impotent all day and we'll hope for more of it in this session.
Once again the umpires discussed about the pitch when Rahane was troubled off successive balls with alarming bounce, but the game carried on. Even Kohli wanted his boys to carry on as he knows anything over 200 is going to be extremely tough to chase on this surface. Still enough in it, South Africa haven't bowled well. They need the bowlers to run in and hit the pitch hard, keep it on the stumps and the pitch will take care of the rest. An interesting final session awaits us. Join us back in a bit for the cricket.
Tea, Day 3: India stretch their lead to 192 runs, they have scored 99 precious runs this session, thanks mainly to Jinks Rahane and partly to Bhuvi Kumar as well. Those two dropped catches in successive overs off both players will hurt South Africa. Rabada got the big wicket of Kohli to lift the Proteas, but Rahane batted beautifully, not missing out on a scoring opportunity. He counter-attacked the bowlers and got quick runs. Pandya gifted his wicket immediately after the drinks break, but Bhuvi has shown great determination and has been involved in a great association with Rahane.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has now been involved in the highest partnership in three of the four innings he has batted this series
No real intensity from Phehlukwayo. Faf wants his bowlers to run in hard. Maybe that dropped catch is still worrying him
Last over before tea coming up
The ball (61.5) Morne bowled to Bhuvi missed the stumps by 1cm according to technology.
Bhuvneshwar is taking an off stump guard now
Morne Morkel [14.0-3-36-1] is back into the attack
Round the wicket with short leg and leg gully in. Get ready for the bouncer barrage
Morne Morkel [13.0-3-33-1] is back into the attack
Faf leaves point open, gully comes in
Rabada to Hardik Pandya, THAT'S OUT!! Caught&Bowled!!
Time for drinks. Another brilliant one hour of play. Bowlers testing the batsmen and batsmen managing to find a way to score. KG's bowling change worked wonders for Faf as he knocked over the determined Virat Kohli. Rahane has looked very positive and Pandya has looked okay thus far. India are 141 ahead, South Africa will look to come hard at them with pace.
Lungisani Ngidi [6.0-1-22-0] is back into the attack
"Gould had a word with the two batsmen at the change of overs," Kaushik pings from the Wanderers
Rabada to Kohli, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Kagiso Rabada [14.0-4-31-1] is back into the attack
Rahane gestures to Kohli that Morne has pushed the man at square leg a bit deeper.
Most runs as India's Test captain:3455 V KOHLI (57* innings)3454 MS Dhoni (96)3449 S Gavaskar (74)2856 M Azharuddin (68)2561 S Ganguly (75)
Vernon Philander [12.0-3-21-2] is back into the attack
Morne Morkel [9.0-3-13-1] is back into the attack
Welcome back for what is most likely to be an exciting session. Vijay's wicket at the stroke of lunch will lift South Africa. Just before Rabada delivered the yorker, Vijay was pointing to something behind the bowler's arm. Didn't look like some disturbance. He was smiling and having a chat, wonder if that put him off. Maybe KG spotted that and cleverly slipped in the yorker. He will finish off the final ball of the over now
A big update from Tristan, "I've just heard from the SA media liaison that there has been no suggestion from the umpires that the match could be abandoned. While they discussed their concern about the divets and trouble areas on the pitch, there was no ultimatum as has been suggested in some parts. It's also worth noting Law 6.4, which says: 'The pitch shall not be changed during the match unless the umpires decide that it is dangerous or unreasonable for play to continue on it and then only with the consent of both captains.' So if there was a particular crack that was threatening the match, they could have tried to fix or fill it during the lunch interval if the captains had consented. Nothing of the sort has been done during this lunch interval, which supports the line that the match is not in jeopardy at this stage."
There has been lot of talk regarding the Wanderers pitch and rightly so. According to many it is a treacherous pitch, but Murali Kartik feels it is a "tough pitch, not a treacherous one." We want to know from you what's your opinion on this pitch. Use the "Have Your Say" button on the top right hand corner on the site to fire away your replies. A valid name is all that we ask for and the best ones will go up on the site. Personally I agree with Kartik. Yes it has done a bit, one or two have rapped the gloves, but nothing close to unplayable or dangerous so far. Agree or disagree? Jamaica 98 at Sabina Park was a pitch which really threatened batsmen's life and limb. Which other pitch can you think of that you felt was dangerous or treacherous. Time to get going and enjoy the Jamaica 98 video coming up (website only). Trust me, it is not pretty. Phew!
Tristan Holme, our South Africa correspondent: "Chris Scott was the groundsman here for several decades, before handing duties over to Bethuel Buthelezi for the 2015/16 season. Scott has stayed on as a consultant to help Buthelezi, but kept a low profile - I didn't see him on the opening two days of the match. But he came storming out onto the field with Buthelezi in tow as the players left, and had a reasonably animated conversation with the umpires. It's all happening."
Lowest avg for Indian openers in a series (3+ Tests):13.58 in SA, 1996/9713.67 in SA, 2017/18*14.10 in Eng, 199615.50 in Eng, 197115.90 in Eng, 1982
Once again the game has been thrown wide open with that wicket. Still India will be happy that they have runs on the board and it won't be easy for South Africa to chase in the last innings. Key here is Kohli who is batting superbly and the others have to help him as far as India are concerned. South Africa will come refreshed after the break and hope to keep the target down to as little as possible. Add the uncertainty of the pitch, we are set up brilliantly for the next session. Do join us soon. Before that take a break and read up/watch whatever which comes up.
The runs were hard to come by and the ball was doing all sorts of tricks. The bowlers were on song and it needed Vijay's calmness, patience, grit and ability to leave balls consistently along with Kohli's special talent to see off the tough period. Both batsmen took blows on their fingers, and the umpires were worried for a while. They had a chat with both captains and decided to continue the game. Just when things were rolling along smoothly for India, KG produced an yorker out of nowhere to bring an end to Vijay's resistance.
12:01 Local Time, 10:01 GMT, 15:31 IST: The umpires are a having a chat with the groundsman. I can see Aleem Dar with a lawbook in his hand. They might want to even up the uneven spots on the turf. More near one or two areas on a good length in the middle of the pitch. They are allowed to do that according to Law 6.4. Coming back to the session, South Africa started on fire - with Philander and Morkel getting Rahul and Pujara out. One was a bad shot while Che got an unplayable ball.
Rabada to Vijay, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Most probably the last over before lunch
Vernon Philander [10.0-3-18-2] is back into the attack
AB was seen having a word with the umpires between the overs
Are they going to call it off? This is the second time in a few overs that the umpires have had concerns on the pitch. For now they decide to continue on.
One can see from this innings, that Vijay has worked on his shortcomings which have haunted him during the current tour. The exaggerated shuffle is reduced and he has left so many balls. Back to the Vijay which we saw of old, where one saw him excelling on the last away journey that India embarked upon on. Good to see him work on his game and come back strongly.
Kohli's right-hand was the one which took the blow. Physio on out there. Gould checks with the Indian captain, a word and they are ready to go. Both the umpires had a look at a spot near the good length area in the middle of the pitch. Just a cursory glance
Three slips, a deep point, mid-off, short square leg, backward square leg is the field. Also a wide mid-on in
Lungisani Ngidi [2.0-0-6-0] is back into the attack
It will be drinks. Some fruit and biscuits for the Proteas while India will be happy to gulp whatever they get. Coming back to the cricket - South Africa have squeezed the Indians in that hour with probing outstanding bowling. Just 18 runs in that hour and nothing given away. The tone was set by Philander when he got KL out, then Morkel produced a snorter to take out Che. There has hardly been a bad ball on offer and batting looks increasingly hard. One ball off Morkel shot through while the others are flying past the batsmen's faces. Hard grind for India. But they will need to see everyone of the quicks and get a score which they can defend later on.
Two slips and a gully, deepish short leg, almost a short square leg
Kagiso Rabada [7.0-1-21-0] is back into the attack
Last time he bowled a wide, next ball he got Che. What will happen this time?
Someone moving behind the bowler's arm. Morkel asks the concerned gentleman to sit. Now Gould does the same
I think it is time for Ngidi, against Kohli
The sun peeks out
South Africa have started bang on today. Ottis Gibson their coach wouldn't have been pleased at how they bowled yesterday. Didn't make use of the new ball and not enough deliveries played by the batsmen. But today, they have come out fresh and are firing on all cylinders
Morne Morkel to Pujara, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
This is a very good move by Faf to throw the ball to Morkel today morning. He looked the most threatening of the bowlers last evening. If he gets it right on this, he could well be nigh impossible to face. That first over tested Vijay
Three slips and a short leg in
Morne Morkel [4.0-1-9-0] is back into the attack
Vernon Philander [5.0-2-11-1] is back into the attack
The South Africans are in a huddle with Faf having a few words. Needless to say, this morning session could be pivotal to the game's result. Off they go into the field, as do the Indian overnight batsmen and the two umpires. It shall be Rabada to start the day's proceedings. Two slips and a gully in place
"Slightly cloudy morning. No rain. But quite breezy," quips our man at the ground, Kaushik Rangarajan.
Pitch Report: "The cracks are getting wider and wider while the grass cover remains steady. Expect more of the movement and also, uneven bounce. It is that short of a good length zone where the pitch playing the maximum tricks. The fact that many of the balls could hit the stumps even from a three-quarter length means more trouble for the batsmen. India have opted for a light roller which surprises me this morning because I would have wanted a heavy roller to flatten it out a bit," says Shaun Pollock in his analysis.
Last session yesterday was the best the pitch seemed for batting but that may well have to do with Vijay's rediscovered monkness and South Africa's confused game plan. They didn't have India playing enough. That should change this morning, though, and if India come through, they'll be favourites, given they bowl last on a diabolical pitch. Cracks should open up enough, too, so expect a few more rib-hurters and finger-jammers. A target of 200 should set India up. A few thunderstorms are predicted but they are for later in the day. Bring it on.
Day 3, 9:15 local: Nobody's against botox. I mean we're all entitled to a bit of face-lift and self confidence. But imagine injecting your face far too many times in a bid to stay young, lifting your sagging skin to the extent that smiling becomes a traumatic exercise. That's what this pitch is like. The curator knows he's overdone it, we know he's overdone it, but this is what we have, a rogue trickster of a pitch that's indulged in some cosmetic misfortune. Hello from Pratyush Sinha to the day that should decide this one-innings shootout, mostly.
Bumrah, on his maiden five-for: "It was always my dream to play Test cricket and to get my first five-wicket haul. And to contribute to team's success. This is a total new experience for me. Such wickets aren't there in India but there is a temptation to get carried away. When so much is happening, you tend to get excited and try to do too much. The advice was to stick to basics in the bowler's meeting: stick to disciplined lines and you will get wickets. It feels nice (the carry to the keeper). Doesn't happen in India! (Parthiv's promotion) was a decision made by the team management. We are happy with the start. Every run is crucial. Both the sides know that. Hopefully we will capitalize on the lead we have built. Not thinking about bowling in the second innings yet. We will think about the bowling when the time comes."
South Africa would be disappointed with this mini session. They lost wickets, four of them, and then allowed India plenty of leaves. I mean this is the easiest batting has looked all day. It's only going to get tougher from here, with showers promising to keep the pitch fresh (remember Newlands?) and the cracks bent on taking a few ribs on. Should be fun, as much as this pitch is trying otherwise. Leaving you with Bumrah's interview and a few must-reads/watchs.. ta-ta!
Stumps, Day 2 -- 05:32pm local: It's death by dessert at Johannesburg. Teams, needing to rely on outside edges and extras to score, are choking by plenty that's on offer. Prodigious seam movement already and the day-long cloud cover ensured that swing popped its neck out, too. Amla's 61 was a painstaking delight, that kept India waiting under bowling conditions that promised wickets with a paper mache ball. In partnership with Rabada, who created an individual record of the most number of balls he's faced in an innings, the duo scored (lucky) runs until Ishant took out the nightwatchman. And then Bumrah roared, registering his first five-for to keep the lead to just 7 runs.
South Africa have two balls to strike today
Yeah, last over of the day!
Kohli has a laugh in the dressing room. A joke, maybe.
We can at most get two overs from here
Too much sun for South Africa's liking, one must say
"The overrate thing is getting funny with Faf. He appeals and then asks his slip fielders to sprint with him to the other end," Kaushik says from Jo'burg
This is the easiest batting has looked today
Okay, this will be fun. He's known to make things happen in his short career. Three slips and a gully in place, and short leg
Some "KG, KG" chants from the hundred who've turned up
Three slips and a gully in place, and a short leg
Morne Morkel, right-arm fast, comes into the attack
The skies have cleared up nicely. Let's hope it stays this way for the rest of the Test. (Hint: won't)
India lead by 22 runs. Here's someone you might know..
What do you guys think of this batting reshuffle? Is this a pitch for left-field tactics?
Lokesh Rahul, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Philander to Parthiv Patel, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
The lights have been switched on here at the Wanderers
Vijay and Parthiv Patel are at the crease. Vijay is on strike. Philander will open the attack
The Freedom Trophy has been handed over to du Plessis and his mates join him. They appear delighted and rightly so, having beaten the top ranked Test team in a series. It was a well-fought series and we got to witness some high quality cricket. In the end, there couldn't have been a better scoreline than 2-1 because both sides had their moments but the Proteas obviously prevailed in most of the crucial passages. This sets it up nicely for the limited-overs leg between the two teams that starts on 1st February. Should be more entertainment for sure. Hope you enjoyed all our coverage of this series. We certainly enjoyed bringing it to you. This is Hariprasad Sadanandan signing off on behalf of my mates Srivathsa, MS Ramakrishnan, Pratyush Sinha and our scorer Vinod. Cheers!
- This is the first instance of Indian pacers taking all 20 wickets in a Test.
- India have never lost a Test match at Johannesburg. 1992: Draw, 1997: Draw, 2006: Win, 2013: Draw, 2018: Win
Where does this overseas win rank for India then? You can draw a lot of parallel with that win at Headingley in 2002. An unproven side, a passionate captain and a contentious call to bat first in tough conditions. And India won thumpingly both times. India's spinners came to the fore then, they had none here but that's a function of the times we live in. Compare that to Perth 2007, when India won on the back of some vitriol. A racial slur accusation there, an exaggeration of home advantage here, so much so that Johannesburg was almost a 'dangerous' pitch to bat on. Adelaide 2003 was built on Dravid's sweat, much like Pujara's here, albeit for many fewer runs to show. And Durban 2010 was done against a top-notch pace attack, much akin to what South Africa are in the process of assembling. What's your favourite?
Du Plessis - captain, SA: "I think India outplayed us in this Test. We didn't take our chances. We were just sloppy. From bowling point of view, we weren't consistent as the previous Tests. From a fielding point of view, we were just average compared to Centurion. India were the better team. It was a surprise how the surface played this morning. Once we got through that, Elgar and Hashim (had a) great partnership together. But the wicket tells you that the bowlers tend to do a bit more. We were disappointed to lose the series. If you asked me 2-1 before the series, I'd have taken it hands down. India is a fantastic side. We played very good cricket throughout the series and are the deserved series winners and I am very proud of my team. There's a lot of limited-overs cricket against a very good Indian side and then we have the Australia series."
Philander - Player of the Series: "We got good wickets (to bowl). I think you have to step up at crucial times (with the bat). Would have been a nice one to win my 50th Test but you always take it. India played better cricket and deserved to win. Probably will take a week's break, then back onto training with the Cobras and prepare for a tough series coming up against Australia."
Bhuvneshwar - Player of the Match: "I'm happy (with my performance). Whenever I get a chance, I try to do well. It came at the right moment. I always enjoy batting when it comes to Tests. It wasn't a wicket for the batsmen but I tried to stay for as much as possible and runs came at the same time. Amazing track to bowl on. Few awkward balls but overall it was a good wicket and we just wanted to bowl in good areas, and then it wasn't easy for the batsmen."
Kohli - captain, India: "We required some character on a pitch that was very difficult to play on but our guys showed great guts and determination throughout the few days. We took the challenge head-on. Batting first didn't go down well with a lot of people but we knew that it'll get difficult to bat on later. Hats off to the team for showing character after the series was gone. We knew we were close in the first two games. It's a funny game. You think of many ways to get a batsmen out. Amla and Elgar played well. They got stuck in and you expect that from a side like South Africa. In pressure situations, when wickets go down in Test cricket, it's very difficult to come back. The bowlers were the biggest positive to come out of the series; we haven't taken 60 wickets in the past. If the batsmen step up, we can do well away from home. We want to correct certain mistakes with the bat. That lower-order showed character. This win feels really great. You need confident bowlers to win Test matches. As batsmen, if we can think about countering conditions more, prepare better, and take our catches, I'm sure we can do well away from home."
The target of 241 was always going to be tough for South Africa but the earlier half of play yesterday due to unsafe surface seemed to have come as a blessing in disguise for the hosts. The overnight rains and the rollers ensured that the surface today wasn't as deadly, although there was still help in it. The Indian bowlers also found their radar late but in the end, they had too many runs on the board. Ishant was outstanding and along with Bumrah deserves the credit for the fightback. Shami's spell redeemed himself because he had been disappointing until then. A superb end to what has been a keenly contested Test series. South Africa have won it 2-1 and the scoreline does reflect the tussle that it was.
It didn't start well for the visitors though. Kohli's decision to bat first was challenged on a green top that had extravagant bounce along with movement. However, Kohli's fifty along with Pujara's dogged knock gave India a total of 187 which seemed decent, albeit not threatening at that point. India's pacers led by a 5-fer from Bumrah ensured that the score was intimidating enough and reduced SA's lead to a slender 7 runs. At that point, it was a one-innings shootout on a threatening pitch. Kohli once again rose to the challenge, this time with Rahane for company as the Protea attack was blunted. The SA pacers started to feel the pressure and dropped catches didn't help their cause also.
17:13 Local Time, 15:13 GMT, 20:43 IST: Kohli is pumped! He is jumping around, gesturing wildly and why wouldn't he! Bows down to the crowd. Exceptional win for the Indians. More remarkable when you consider the comeback they made today after the brilliant stand between Elgar and Amla. The duo threatened to take it away from India but the latter's wicket followed by that of de Villiers before tea gave India some hope. When the final session started, the game was in the balance but that's when their most off-color pacer came to the party. Shami roared with a 5-fer to blow away the lower order. Ishant and Bumrah had struck once each after tea before Shami took centrestage. Elgar fought hard but eventually, he ran out of partners. Incredible collapse from SA, they lost 9/53!
Shami to Lungi Ngidi, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
India review for caught behind: Almost a replica of the previous ball but this time India are confident that there was a nick. Karthik appears confident. Let's have a look. Definite noise on the replays and UltraEdge confirms it! That's it!
Shami to Morne Morkel, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Bhuvneshwar to Rabada, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Shami to Phehlukwayo, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Shami to Philander, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Mohammed Shami [9.0-2-18-1] is back into the attack
India review for caught behind against Elgar. Karthik wasn't confident at all but Pujara was sure he heard something. That prompts Kohli to take the review. Nothing on UltraEdge. The on-field call will stay
Bhuvneshwar Kumar [14.0-4-23-0] is back into the attack
Time for a change
Looked a bit jerky initially but Philander is set to resume. That's good news
Bumrah to de Kock, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Ishant to du Plessis, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
Update on Parthiv Patel: He has injured his right index finger and is set to go for an x-ray this evening after the game. We'll keep you updated on this
Slight holdup as Aleem Dar is helping Faf with the strap of the helmet. All sorted and we are ready to resume
SA need exactly 100 more now. Taking the surface into account, this is still a long way away but they are definitely on course
Welcome back for the final session! Technically, this is a dead rubber but you wouldn't realize that from the intensity both sides have shown in this match. South Africa have approached this tricky chase superbly and just when it seemed like it was one-way traffic, India sprang back to life with those twin strikes. Fasten your seat belts folks, as this is going to be a roller-coaster ride. Meanwhile, there is an update as Parthiv Patel has suspectedly broken his finger and according to the new rules, you can have a substitute for the keeper. Dinesh Karthik will don the gloves. All set for live action to start
Tea, Day 4: Gee this Test match continues to amaze all of us. South Africa were well in control, but the wickets of Amla and de Villiers have lifted the Indians. Elgar and Amla frustrated the Indian bowlers with patience and vigour. They were totally unfussed despite the body blows. India looked flat, barring the combined spell between Ishant-Bumrah post lunch, but managed to remove Amla - caught at short mid-wicket. Bumrah then got one to jump on AB and now India believe they are back in this Test. This is going to be a cracking final session folks. The game is on the line. South Africa still need 105, India would early wickets. Join us back for the cricket very shortly...
Ishant wants Hardik to be finer at short mid-wicket
The cordon has been rearranged. First slip is very wide, second is more at third and then a gully.
Elgar is almost covering all the sticks with Ishant coming from round the wicket
Bumrah to de Villiers, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
ABD hops to get himself going
The key for India here against ABD is to keep him calm. Not going to be easy, with just 115 runs to get, can't plug too many gaps. Massive test for Kohli and Co.
Ishant to Amla, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Ishant Sharma [9.0-1-16-0] is back into the attack
Okay, I think that manic pitch rant should be over now. Back to cricket Have Your Says... okay? I'll plug a few at the end of this over and get done with it.
Jasprit Bumrah [12.0-2-38-0] is back into the attack
Has the pitch eased out?: Yes, to an extentAre the batsmen playing well?: Yes, of courseHave India been good with the ball?: Not really. Barring a combined spell from Ishant-Bumrah post lunch, it's been pretty soft.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar [11.0-2-20-0] is back into the attack
Just a one slip, but two gullies in place
Shami was running in well, there's intensity as well. Can he inspire India with a wicket?
Back over the wicket now
Interesting to see Shami come round the wicket to Amla
Let's get Have Your Say on a roll here. Define "poor pitch" as funnily as you can in one line only and send it across through our website. You can also send it across to @prat1204 and I'll try to pick the good ones from there, as many as I can!
Time for a drink! Another wicketless hour for South Africa and you get the feeling that they are slowly inching towards what would be a monumental win, considering all the drama that unfolded yesterday. Elgar and Amla have been rigid in their temperament and shot selection. The surface hasn't had quite the demons as yesterday but you still need to credit this partnership. Are India out of this? Not really but they are certainly feeling the pressure now. Ideally, they would need a good passage of play in terms of accuracy from pacers, pressure needs to be from both ends. On this pitch, one wicket can probably bring two or three. Advantage SA though at the moment.
"Plenty of clapping from Kohli, Rahane etc. Trying to keep their spirits up," pings Kaushik from Jo'burg
This partnership has had a bearing on Kohli's field placement as well. Just a slip in place now along with two gullies
Mohammed Shami [5.0-1-15-1] is back into the attack
All of a sudden, the pitch has life
Welcome back folks! India still have the runs on the board which is certainly a huge proposition on this pitch. Having said that, South Africa ticked off a box by going wicketless in the morning. Can they keep up the good work? Or will the Indian pacers rediscover their rhythm to make inroads? We shall find out soon as we are all set for live action
Seeing how the 90 minutes today have gone, my mind instantly goes back to two Tests in South Africa. One the Cape Town Test - the famous 47 all out match - versus Australia and the second; the Jo'Burg Test in 2013 when India last played here. Both matches saw fourth innings chases, when the pitch completey baffled everyone. It started off spicy and then suddenly went to sleep. Made the fourth innings a stroll giving the bowling side nightmares. Looking at how the first session has gone, is this game going that same route? I will leave with those two scorecards (website only) for your viewing!
But for that to happen, they have to get past two walls in the form of Elgar and Amla. Maybe during the break, they will reassess things and sit down to have a talk on where they need to bowl. That's what the coach and the thinktank are for, isn't it? On that note, take a break, but do stay tuned and join us shortly for the next session. If you have lots of time to spend, then there's a plethora of stuff up on our site - with the T20 League auction going on. Cricbuzz's "live tracker" is a beaut. Make sure you don't miss out on that. Will be back in a while to see how this Test unfolds...
They have not bowled the right length on this and haven't attacked the stumps much, especially Bumrah and Bhuvi. Ishant has looked the best of the three that have bowled today. Shami was taken off very quickly after being cut for two fours by Amla. There's still encouragement and life for the bowlers, but with the ball becoming soft and pitch not throwing up any demons, India will have to be really disciplined and innovative as well to turn this around. Mind you they aren't out of this, a couple of wickets and one may see the new batsman feeling uncomfortable.
12:30 Local Time, 10:30 GMT, 16:00 IST: Treacherous pitch! Dangerous Pitch! Unplayable! Unfit for a Test! Poor! What are you talking about? Throw all those adjectives out of the window. Nothing has happened today as far as the pitch is concerned. Not one ball has spat or jumped from a length. So what could be the reason for the sudden change? Heavy roller? Overnight rain? Pitch easing out? A combination of all those I would say. A brilliant 90 minutes for South Africa. Apart from a few moments when the ball beat the edge, there hasn't been a single half-chance created by the Indians.
Relaxed faces in the Protea camp as Amla has a lighter moment with Gould
Point comes in. Leg gully and deep square as well
The sun peeks out. This will be the last over before lunch.
Leg gully in
Jasprit Bumrah [5.0-1-14-0] is back into the attack
The crowd are singing - "he bowls to the right, he bowls to the left, this Ishant Sharma, his bowling is s*ite." An iconic song invented by the Barmy Army for Mitchell Johnson! Now adapted by the crowd to use it on Ishant!
Aleem Dar had a word with Kohli about the amount of chirp going on out there
Time for drinks. South Africa will be happy with how things have gone in this mini passage of play. India haven't even created one chance. And surprisingly the pitch isn't showing off his villainous nature. Where are the ones who were shouting and screaming at the state of the pitch? If it plays true and the ball gets soft, then problems for India. Takes my mind back to the Cape Town Test when South Africa chased a 200-plus score against Australia with ease. That after bowling them out for 47. Amla got a hundred - a sublime one at that and he is key again here.
Leg gully in for Amla
Someone seems to have whispered in Ishant's ear that he has gone unsold in the T20 League auction! Looks fired up
India are making the same mistake that Vern and the others did on the last session of day 2. They aren't attacking the stumps enough on this uneven wicket. Even Bhuvneshwar looks off-color today. Majority of the balls are being bowled on a good length, short of length, and outside off. Not on the stumps and full - which then can cause all sorts of trouble. Maybe they have got carried away by the pitch.
Graeme Smith on air - "I don't think Faf can wear a chest guard because his shirt is so tight." Hahaha!
Round the wicket now
Apart from one or two balls, the pitch hasn't played any tricks. India haven't bowled well too. They aren't hitting the right length on this - which is full!
Jasprit Bumrah [1.0-0-7-0] is back into the attack
Two slips and a gully in
Bhuvneshwar Kumar [4.0-0-8-0] is back into the attack
So the players are walking out to the middle. Overcast conditions and perfect for bowling. Still can see sawdust sprayed on the outfield. Will not be easy for batting. And then there's the pitch. Which is the bigger topic of discussion. Bumrah to start things off. Three slips and a gully, with a leg gully in as well. Here we go...
Kau again with this: "Heavy roller on the pitch." Good. That should settle the demons on it!
Revised timings for today: 1st session - 11am to 12:30pm. Second session - 1:10pm to 3:25pm. Third session - 3:45pm to 6pm. Another half an hour can be played if conditions permit.
10:36 Local Time, 08:36 GMT, 14:06 IST: Kau our man at Jo'Burg pings me that play will start at 11am and lunch will be pushed back by half an hour!
Pitch report: There's still some ongoing discussions about yesterday. The forecast is good. Nothing about the pitch! Slight dampness on the pitch but the main issue for the delay is concerns about the outfield. Sawdust being sprayed on that part of the field.
09:55 Local Time, 07:55 GMT, 13:25 IST: There appears to be some sawdust on the outfield. Here is some official news from Kaushik, "Inspection at 10:30 local!" Another 35 minutes more to go for that and so we now have a delayed start.
Kaushik comes up with more bytes. "Just one cover placed beside the pitch. Ottis Gibson is with the umpires inspecting the cracks."
Our man at the venue, Kaushik Rangarajan informs us that there was a shower earlier but it's now down to a very light drizzle. "Super soppers working on the outfield. Doesn’t look too bad from up here. Officials paying close attention to the pitch! Obviously! Covers have come on," he says.
So, what ahead for South Africa?? There were a lot of extreme reactions on the social media as you would expect with such a scenario. The hosts have gone on record saying that they are prepared to fight it out and guess what, they would need every ounce of their strength to gun down this target. The surface is expected to aid the pacers and even if the rollers have an effect, there would still be enough tricks played by the track to keep the batsmen on their feet. However, they could take a leaf out of India's second innings approach - they were positive in intent and largely played without keeping the pitch in mind. That's the best way to play to be honest. As for the Indians, if they can utilize this new ball well, they could make early inroads. Promises to be an entertaining morning session. Stay tuned.
Day 4, 9:20 local: Cricket is generally a gentleman's game. Yes, you do have several incidents on the field and sometimes even in press conferences when players have a go at each other. However, the bottomline is that the game is almost always played in good spirits. This characteristic of the sport had a litmus test yesterday and it did seem like things could turn ugly. We had a pitch that was causing a few alarms for the batsmen and then two teams who had opposite thoughts on continuing the game. It wasn't wrong of either of them to think the way they had yesterday. In the end, it's pleasing that a consensus was arrived at. That means we are back to the real business wherein a cracking day's play is in prospect. This is Hariprasad Sadanandan saying hello to all of you to our coverage.
20:20 Local Time, 18:20 GMT, 23:50 IST: So after a day full of action, I get to sign off. Helps massively when you aren't an early to bed, early to rise guy. So on that note, I leave you with Tristan's news story where he has all the details of what transpired today. See you tomorrow. Bye for now. Adios.
19:58 Local Time, 17:58 GMT, 23:28 IST: Breaking news: The match referee has had a word with both team managements and the play is scheduled to start on time on Day 4. Here's the official statement from on their Twitter account: "The on-field umpires, in consultation with the match referee, and after speaking with both the captains and groundsmen, have decided that the Johannesburg Test will resume on time on Saturday. The on-field umpires will continue to monitor the pitch, and consult the match referee should the pitch deteriorate further. The welfare of the players is paramount and two of the most experienced match officials are in charge of the game and will take appropriate decisions. Play on Friday was suspended shortly before scheduled close because the on-field umpires wanted to consult the match referee regarding the condition of the pitch."
A thrilling day's play which has ended with a fair bit of controversy. The pitch continues to be the hero with all the spotlight on it. India are firm favorites at this point but that is only a sub-plot as of now. Will the game continue? What will be the immediate future of the Wanderers? All this and plenty more questions that need answers. That's a wrap as far as our coverage of the day is concerned. Huge day coming up then. Cya tomorrow, cheers!
An interesting point from Mazher Arshad on Twitter, "CSA should be hoping play happens tomorrow. If it is abandoned then very likely the pitch will be declared UNFIT and the Wanderers will be banned for 12 months. The ground is due to host one ODI, T20I vs India and a Test v Australia. Might not able to host PAK next season either. If it is declared unfit and there is a same offence in the next 5 years then under the new rules it will result in 10 demerit points which equates to 24 months ban."
More from Gibson who appears animated. "When we go to India, the wickets spin. If you are playing four spinners then it's ok? Heavy roller flattens it out. Our idea is to flatten the cracks out. They'll always open as the match goes on. Ultimately we still want to play cricket. But Match referee decision will be based on player safety. I hope you are not sitting here thinking we are complaining."
"Our captain also said this is not fair when balls were taking off the length. We said a decision would have to be made but that's not our decision to make.If a ball is going to hit you on your finger, we can probably get away with. But if it's on the face then it's a problem. Every team are good in their own conditions and use it to their benefit," quips Gibson.
The Coach also clarifies the team's stance on the pitches they asked. "We've never asked for grass, we asked for pace and bounce. The wicket in Cape Town went for three days but we thought it was a good wicket. That's what we had asked for here. Dean is not expecting the ball to take off from 8m and hit him in the face. There are four umpires here and a match referee. Player safety is paramount"
Gibson's turn to voice his thoughts. "India over the course of the three days have utilized the conditions a lot more. We've bowled wider than we should have. They've had the upper hand since the first day. I've played here before on a wicket that looked similar with the grass on. I think both teams thought it was a good pitch. It was cut down to 5mm . I don't think we expected it to behave in the way it did."
Moosajee isn't happy about the way the opposition has reacted. "I'm not sure you are watching the game. The ball that hit Elgar spat from a good length. Nobody has made a direct statement to the direct condition of the pitch. The minute it goes to the head , that's why the umpires decided to consult with the referee. I don't think short pitched bowling affected Shami (references to bowling round the wicket to him). There was no deliberate intention to hurt anyone"
Moosajee says, "Decision was umpires will take a call. From our point of view decision lies in the referees stand. Everybody wants to see Test cricket. It's interestingly poised. Issue becomes what is unfit and unsafe. The issue comes when a ball rises from a length and hits a face. Match referee hasn't told us officially if a decision will be made tomorrow. No doubt questions will be asked about this pitch. It looked like a sporty wicket. will rate it. We have to face repercussions"
South Africa's head coach Ottis Gibson and Manager Moosajee's turn to address the press.
Rahane mentions how the Indians took the challenge positively. "We never complained , whenever we got Hit. I was visualizing when I was sitting in the dressing room. Survival was not enough we had to score. I was thinking from last night. I wanted to be aggressive. Go aggressive."
"How come no one noticed when 9-11 were batting they were bowling round the wicket into the head. I've batted many times in club cricket - you get more dangerous wickets in Kanga league. As a cricketer whatever challenges you get you have to face," opines Rahane.
Rahane echoed his manager's views, "New ball is challenging but you cannot call it dangerous, When Amla got 60, no one talked about the pitch. Everybody talked about how he played. I hope Elgar is fine, but I don't think pitch is too dangerous. I don't know what the is going to do, but as a team our focus is to get on with the game."
"Now it is up to match referee to decide. Let's cross the bridge when we get there (if India will be okay with repair). Tomorrow before start of play we should be told (regarding the match's future)," Sunil adds.
"We are of the view that it was a normal ball (the one to Elgar). It was not a ball that cut alarmingly. It would be unfair to one of the sides if repair work is done on the pitch tomorrow," Sunil says.
The Indian Team Manager Sunil Subramanium and Ajinkya Rahane are addressing the press. This is what Sunil has to say, "Match Referee had called me at tea in case the pitch got dangerous later. We held the view that the pitch was the same for all three days. Today was the day when we had the least wickets. So we wanted to continue to play."
"News from the South Africa camp is that They are still waiting on the match officials to give them an update on the way forward. They are not sure when this decision will be made," our correspondent Tristan Holme.
Rabada, Philander and Morkel all picked 3 wickets apiece but it was Kagiso who was easily the pick of the bowlers. The others were patchy in their spells and were combated by some spirited batting from the Indians. The poor catching didn't help the Proteas either. Armed with a solid lead and an opportunity to have a brief crack at the South Africans, India did strike early with Shami's lifter derailing Markram. Defying the pitch's tricks, Elgar and Amla survived, occasionally copping blows before it became one too many. Ironically, it was a delivery that didn't misbehave that put a full stop to the day's play.
A brilliant day for India - easily their best one on this South African tour thus far. The day started with the game in the balance but it took two classy knocks to drag the momentum towards the visitors. Skipper Kohli followed up his first innings fifty with a fluent 41 that set the tone of the innings while his deputy showed everyone what India were missing in his absence. The duo's efforts blunted the Proteas who not only wilted in terms of the bowling, but also started dropping catches. Bhuvneshwar weighed in with another valuable knock while Shami chanced his arms to produce a cameo as India ended up with a hefty lead, considering the nature of this Jo'burg pitch.
17:30 Local Time, 15:30 GMT, 21:00 IST: We have the final update for the day. Stumps it is! No clarity at present regarding the future of the game. We're hearing that more details will be divulged at a press conference that is around the corner.
Our man, Kaushik, with some news, "They've uprooted the stumps that should be that for the day's play at least. It's drizzling slightly, hence the covers are on and the stumps are off. Now for Law 6.4.4 to apply, they can't even repair the pitch"
A key discussion on-air by Sunil Gavaskar, Kepler Wessels and Graeme Smith regarding the match's future. They feel that the game must go on, purely for a consistency in decision-making. The important point mentioned is the fact that the delivery which has caused this delay didn't actually misbehave off the track. The replays are confirming it. Elgar probably misjudged the length a touch and copped the blow
The Indian coaching staff are having a chat there, Ravi Shastri and Sanjay Bangar being the most vocal of them. The Indian players are all going back to the dressing room which means that we should be done for the day I guess. The players are having a chat with their coaching staff. Murali Vijay is having a word with AB de Villiers, sharing a light moment. Meanwhile, it has started to rain and the covers are being brought on
Okay, this is the big moment. Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis are making their way into the Match Referee's room along with Ian Gould and Aleem Dar. The key thing here is that although the umpires' decision is vital, both captains need to arrive at a mutual agreement for that decision to materialize. This is getting really dodgy, I tell you. Some of the Indian players are still out on the ground. Here is a key bit if you weren't aware - India were offered to stop the game earlier but Kohli had told his men to continue. What this means is that if there is another contradiction between the two captains, it's a stalemate. So, the umpires and match referee can make the final call.
The players are leaving the field. Aleem Dar is having a chat with Kohli who seems animated and unhappy with the decision. The two captains and coaching staffs are likely to have a discussion soon I reckon regarding the future of this match. We'll get clarity on it in a while
The physio is out there to tend to Elgar, just checking if everything is alright. This delivery didn't seem like it misbehaved to be honest, probably misjudged the length but still, there was extra bounce on it. The Match Referee is coming into the ground now. Wooh, the drama has intensified now. Aleem Dar and Ian Gould are having a chat with him. No prizes for guessing what's it about - safety of the players and if the pitch is good enough to resume
Time for a change and it's the first innings star who has the ball
Round the wicket. Shami is constantly changing his angles
One of the slip fielders goes to leg gully. Good move with the amount of inward movement
Round the wicket goes Shami
Over the wicket now
The treatment has been done and we are ready to resume
Slight hold up in play as the physio is out there to treat Elgar. Each time a batsman gets hit, there will be concerns over the nature of this pitch. Regarding how dangerous it is. Ian Gould is having a chat with Rahane and Pujara, just a casual talk though but I guess it could be about the pitch. Michael Holding has this to say in his inimitable style, "Perhaps they (the umpires) think that the pitch will be afraid of them when they look at it and quieten down!"
Shami to Markram, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Markram and Elgar are at the crease. Markram is on strike. Bhuvneshwar will open the attack