Indian captain’s decision to bat first proved to be misfire as the host team succeeded in restricting team India to a small score of 187 runs in the third test at Johannesburg that began on this Wednesday.
Kohli, being the outstanding batsman in this innings made a patient half-century along with Chatteswar Pujara who also made his fifty off 106 balls. This partnership stood solid to answer the rigorous pace attack by the safaris.
The captain had to face criticism for selecting to bat first on a grassy pitch that favors pace bowling though he did his best with bat by scoring 54 runs and made a good partnership of 84 runs. Indian innings lasted for 77 overs.
Before closing the day, South Africa made a less score as the pacer Bhuwaneswar Kumar succeeded in sending opener Aiden Makram to the pavilion. The host team made an overnight score of 6 runs for one wicket.
Pujara and Parthiv Patel made 31 runs for fifth wicket partnership before Pujara’s dismissal. After the tea break, India lost six wickets for 73 runs. Pujara got dismissed by Andile Phehlukwayo who took two wickets and gave 25 runs. After Pujara, Patel got dismissed within five balls.
Phelukwayo got the wicket of Hardik Pandya (0) who made no mark in the crease and got dismissed by his loose shot. Bhuvaneswar made a brilliant part by adding 30 runs off 49 balls. He added 19 runs with the partnership of Mohammed Shami who scored 8 runs.
Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada got the wickets of Shami and Ishant Sharma respectively leading India to a dangling position of 166 runs for 9 wickets.
Bhuvaneswar tried to take the stand for the team by adding 21 vital runs along with Bumrah before he got dismissed by Rabada.
This was the decent score after Kohli’s 16th fifty in his test career in this match. Earlier, Indian team lost the wickets of opening batsmen very early before Kohli-Pujara made 84 runs to make India stand at 114 runs for four wickets.
The duo played some attractive shots to make 50 runs in 29 overs. India crossed 100 run score in 46th over. Virat got a second life when he was dropped by De Villiers in 33rd over. Pujara and Kohli stood strong to make their partnership and they got three lives in their innings.
Earlier, openers Rahul got out at 0 and Murali Vijay was dismissed at 8 runs score leaving the team with score 13 runs for the loss of two wickets. Another significant example of South African pace attack is, Pujara scored his first run after facing 54 balls.
Some of the significant changes in team India are, it is the first match India is playing without a full-time spinner. Rahane came into the team substituting Rohit Sharma and Bhuvaneswar Kumar replaced Ravichandran Ashwin.
Though India seems all set for facing the Safari seamers, the decision of the captain proved to damage the winning chances. India is trailing by 0-2 in this test series and triumph in this match is crucial for the team.