Johannesburg Test: South Africa 81/3 at lunch on Day 2

South Africa trail India's first innings total by 44 runs on a wicket that is offering pace, bounce and lateral movement to the tourists' all-seam attack, conditions they have exploited superbly.

At the other end, Rabada gained in confidence as he ate up time and deliveries. Two overs later, Philander's stoic resistance ended with a top-edged pull beautifully judged by Bumrah running to his right at long-leg.

The hosts have thus notched up a slender lead of seven runs.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is amongst wickets once again. India saw a nine-series winning streak that took it to No. 1 come to a halt in South Africa and is playing to avoid a first whitewash in six years, and a first ever whitewash in South Africa. But you've got to be really positive and look to score. Why not Bhuvneshwar in front of AB de Villiers? But it is all about making the most of the opportunities got.

Rabada‚ who soaked up the pressure by playing sensible cricket and frustrated the Indian bowlers by leaving unsafe balls and punishing the bad ones‚ was removed agonisingly close to his highest Test score of 34‚ scored against New Zealand in Hamilton past year. The latter though struggled to get off the mark for 54 balls, with India scoring only 45 runs in the morning session. The two took India to lunch on 45/2 with Kohli on 25 and Pujara on 5. The skipper followed this up with some brisk shots to bring up a determined fifty.

"Morne (Morkel) is always putting time in the nets, so is Lungi (Ngidi)". Why make him settle? Rabada was beaten more often than not, outside off stump, but looked undeterred. Good low catch by Parthiv Patel, Dean Elgar is caught behind. With Pujara showing great resilience and patience, it was important for Parthiv to hold one end up. We are happy with the start. Both departed soon after reaching their respective fifties. And Pandya (0) showed that he lacks the game sense and played a wild pull for Quinton to run back and pick a smart catch - his fifth of the innings.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is making every ounce of his comeback to the Indian side count.

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Philander said that following the four-day break, the players are feeling fresh and ready for the third Test.

  • Angelo Rivera