South Africa had a tough time on Day 2 of the second Test as their batters struggled to score runs against a formidable Indian bowling unit.
All-rounder Shardul Thakur orchestrated India’s comeback in the game with his stupendous bowling efforts. Thakur first broke the resistance of Dean Elgar and youngster Keegan Petersen as he claimed seven wickets for 61 runs to limit South Africa’s lead to 27.
India needed just 7.4 overs to clear the deficit but lost openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal in 12 overs. However, the experienced pair of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane remained firm at the crease and defied Proteas bowlers to run through their batting line-up.
Marco Jansen got the wicket of KL Rahul while Duanne Olivier trapped Mayank Agarwal for LBW. Pujara displayed his sheer brilliance to tackle the South African bowlers’ pace and bounce and smashed seven boundaries in his unbeaten 41-run stand with Rahane.
South Africa gave Keshav Maharaj to bowl the final over and Pujara smartly dealt with him, smashing him a couple of boundaries.
Why not one more over from Lungi Ngidi?: Sanjay Manjrekar
Former Indian player Sanjay Manjrekar criticised the Proteas for handing Maharaj the final over.
“Today, just watching that last session, it was just ridiculous. And It was topped up with Keshav Maharaj bowling the last over. Just as a formality. It’s like that old-fashioned thing that we do with one over to go. Let’s bowl a left-arm spinner,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
“How does that make any sense on a pitch that has so much for seamers? Why not one more over from Lungi Ngidi? Just imagine how delighted Pujara and Rahane would’ve been to see Maharaj bowling the last over,” he added.
What has happened to Kagiso Rabada?: Sanjay Manjrekar
Kagiso Rabada bowled six overs in the second innings on Day 2 but went wicketless and conceded 26 runs. Manjrekar said that Rabada is allowing the batters driveway too often and says it’s a surprising factor from Proteas’ best bowler.
“What has happened to Rabada? It’s so frustrating watching him as well. That suddenly he wants to be the Jimmy Anderson kind of a bowler. The amount of driving balls that he has given to the Indian batters in both innings, it’s been ridiculous to say the least. Although Dean Elgar didn’t give Rabada and (Duanne) Olivier too much overs with the new ball, the amount of driving balls given in the Test match by South Africa when the pitch is your greatest ally. It just baffles me,” Manjrekar said.
“When I was there in 90’s, driving balls, you’d get rarely. Two or three per session. But here you are getting three or four per over. And every ball has been driven for four. Such ridiculous tactics from South Africa,” he added.
Rabada has picked 10 wickets in this series so far at an average of 20.49 with his first-innings figures read 3/64.
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