SA lose three quick wickets to leave India with momentum in Centurion

Proteas search for perfect balance

Hashim Amla's run out on 82 started the late slide as South Africa went from the comfort of 246-3 to 269-6 in the last 10 overs before stumps.

Exactly why Amla has prospered on this pitch is hard to pin down - it could have something to do with the pace of ball on bat - though on Saturday that would not have been the case.

When that spinner is Ravichandran Ashwin, whose last Test in these parts ended in self-doubt and being dropped, it is a case of cricket going full circle.

Aiden Markram was dismissed six runs shy of his third century before tea as South Africa continued to consolidate on the first day of the second test against India at SuperSport Park in Pretoria.

South Africa head coach Otis Gibson has already expressed his desire to stick with a four-pronged pace attack.

To substantiate the above numbers, India found themselves really out of order in the 1st Test Match against South Africa, certainly not the way No.1 test ranked team should have played. Philander took two-and-a-half overs to set Kohli up. The batsman hesitated at Faf du Plessis's call before setting off and the bowler in a flash swooped down to pick the red cherry up and then throw down the stumps at the non-striker's end.

Like the Indian batsmen batting coach Sanjay Bangar and throwdown specialist Raghu put in a long shift
Like the Indian batsmen batting coach Sanjay Bangar and throwdown specialist Raghu put in a long shift

Where will the South Africa v/s India 2nd Test match be played? Markram even though fell six runs short of his third career century in five game, gave a good accout of his talent. Amla, who survived a scratchy period initially, shook off the blues to find his touch and stroke the ball regally while making 82.

The Tamil Nadu tweaker accounted for openers Markram and Dean Algar (31) and Quinton de Kock (0) to peg the hosts back. Those changes included surprisingly dropping seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was one of India's best players in the first test. India brought in Sharma for Kumar and also opening batsman KL Rahul for Shikhar Dhawan, and Patel for injured wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.

The one silver lining in India's humiliating defeat by South Africa in Cape Town was the performance of India's fast bowling attack led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. The opening session began with a bustle for India as Shami had the nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada caught at second slip and superbly held at gully by a diving. With Amla set by then and AB de Villiers walking out, there was still no respite for the Indians, and a tea-time score of 182 for 2 in 56 overs spoke of how dominant South Africa had been.

Just to make sure no-one got carried away, three balls after that, he provided Parthiv Patel with a thin edge down the leg side that should have been taken.

In the last session though, India came alive.

Dean Elgar (31) was Ashwin's other victim, while impressive seamer Ishant Sharma (1-32) induced an edge from the risky AB de Villiers (20) onto his own wicket. De Villiers had to leave for 20, and the Indians were jubilant.

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