One more wicket would have put India under tremendous pressure, however, what followed was a superb recovery from Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara.
India vs South Africa
On a track that had a lot of bounce, seam movement, and a lot of movement in the air, India did reasonably well to post 223 run-total in the first innings on Day 1 of the third Test. At one stage, it looked like India would post a 300-plus total, however, wickets fell quickly in the third session of the day.
Earlier, India won the toss and opted to bat first. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal made a quick start and added 33 runs in less than 9 overs. However, Olivier and Rabada then bowled some tight overs and built pressure for the next few overs. Olivier eventually got the prized wicket of KL Rahul (12 off 35) in the 12th over of the innings. Kagiso Rabada got rid of Mayank Agarwal (15 of 35) in the very next over to leave India in trouble at 33 for 3. One more wicket would have put India under tremendous pressure, however, what followed was a superb recovery from Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara.
The duo added 72 runs for the third wicket and helped India get back the momentum. Marco Jansen eventually broke the partnership in the 38th over, getting rid of Cheteshwar Pujara for a well-made 43 off 77 balls. Virat Kohli, however, held firm and showed breathtaking grit and determination. Ajinkya Rahane’s stay lasted only 12 days as he one to the keeper off Kagiso Rabada.
Virat Kohli lacked support at the other end
Rishabh Pant then formed another good-looking partnership 50-run stand for the fifth wicket with Virat Kohli to get India back on track. Rishabh Pant looked good for his 27 off 50 but failed to convert the start into a big score. Virat Kohli, however, kept driving India to a competitive total on the board. He put all bad deliveries to the boundary ropes and ensured he doesn’t go after the balls which were there to leave. He, however, lacked support at the other end as wickets kept falling in short intervals.
Unfortunately, in a bid to add quick runs to India’s total, he got out off Rabada after scoring 79 runs off 201 deliveries. India finished their innings at 223 for 10 in the first innings. Much to the delight of the Indian fans, Jasprit Bumrah sent Dean Elgar back to the pavilion before the end of the first day’s play. South Africa are currently at 17 for 1 at the end of day 1 in Cape Town.