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Markram shines as Proteas make solid start to second test

Markram shines as Proteas make solid start to second test

That took South Africa from 246/3 to 251/6, and what should have been a dominant day at the office became one that India will be more satisfied with.

"The one thing I have comfortably done is conveniently forget the history about South Africa". And then, the Indian fielders closed in and this coincided with some utterly ridiculous running from South Africa. Because at the end of the day, I think I had a bit of cushion there to try all those things.

India started by serving a shocker to those predicting the playing XI.

Wriddhiman Saha was ruled out due to a strain and Parthiv Patel was included as a replacement wicketkeeper.

India skipper Virat Kohli has said that this team is happy to fight fire with fire and the lively track on offer at the SuperSport Park in Centurion is no deterrent for his boys and they weren't just mere words and the batsmen backed it with action as they kept facing short pitched deliveries at the nets.

If Kohli wins the toss, opting to bowl will be obvious option.

Post lunch, Markram and Dean Elgar (31) took their opening stand to 85 runs.

South Africa were undone in two very different ways in their only two Test defeats in Pretoria.

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Though pitch was on the slower side, Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla found a way to put notable scores of 94 and 84 respectively while the rest of the failed to cover themselves in glory on this day of ups and downs.

Indian pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Harik Pandya operated with probing line and length.

When South Africa were 61/0, India sought a review after the umpire turned down a caught behind appeal against Elgar off off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. "So, we just need to adapt and apply ourselves better when we go out to bat", he continued. Ishant landed a short delivery outside off and De Villiers ended up getting an inside edge to it that went straight to the stumps.

R Ashwin said not picking a single wicket in the Johannesburg Test during the tour of South Africa in 2013 was akin to a hit on his professional pride and forgetting that had helped him take three wickets against South Africa on the first day of the Centurion Test. First, a brilliant piece of fielding by Hardik Pandya saw the back of Amla.

Explaining his strategy, Ashwin said: "When Amla and Markram, those kind of partnerships were going I was a little reluctant to go from over and round the stumps and change angles". Quinton De Kock then got dismissed by Ashwin off the very first ball he faced and that was followed by Vernon Philander's run out that could qualify for slapstick comedy.

Although Centurion is Du Plessis' home ground, he said the pitch looked unusual. It was quite a big wicket considering Amla is known for playing big knocks and to see him back rejuvenated the Indians.

The South African captain held firm though, and Keshav Maharaj showed his batting chops once again to lend some stability to the score.


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