Wasteful India let Proteas off the hook in second test

2nd Test Day 1 Ashwin basks after helping India contain South Africa

2nd Test Day 1 Ashwin basks after helping India contain South Africa

KL Rahul (o) and Murali Vijay (0) are now at the crease.

After South Africa resumed their innings on 269-6, India dropped four catches, including captain Faf du Plessis (63), letting the home side off the hook and allowing them to post a respectable first innings score.

South Africa have handed a debut to tall seamer Lungi Ngidi regarded as a hugely promising talent who will expect to get steep bounce at a brisk pace on his home pitch in provincial cricket.

Two soft dismissals in successive balls marred an otherwise excellent first two sessions for India on day two in Centurion, where they kept South Africa to a less-than-imposing first-innings total of 335. By tea, he had hit six fours and played the lead role in an unbroken partnership of 52 with Murali Vijay, who was 31 not out.

South Africa's Dean Elgar plays a shot off the bowling of India's Jasprit Bumrah.

Ishant Sharma justified his selection ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar by taking 3-46, which included the wicket of du Plessis. Shami found the rhythm that had deserted him all through Saturday, hitting the seam on a tight line close to off stump and finding movement off the deck, mostly away from the right-hander.

India made two other changes.

Two balls later, Quinton de Kock edged his first ball to slip, giving Ashwin his third wicket. Then he charged out of his crease, slogged, and miscued one high over the point region.

He struck the ball with authority, particularly off the back foot, before he tried to guide a ball from Ashwin towards third man and was caught behind by Parthiv Patel. Soon after, du Plessis appeared to edge Ashwin while looking to defend him off the back foot and the ball clanged off Parthiv's gloves. The right arm offie showed his worth and picked up three important wickets, whereas the rest of the Indian bowlers struggled on the first day of the second Test match. Soon after, he had du Plessis out bowled with a full one. Hence India has only played one spinner in both the tests.

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