Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane both got back into some kind of form as the duo struck the fifties and also shared a century partnership between them to give some hope to India on Day 3 of the second Test at Johannesburg. But immediately after scoring their respective half-centuries both fell prey to Kagiso Rabada who accumulated 400 wickets for the Proteas across formats.
Rishabh Pant might not watch his dismissal replay again as he also got out to Rabada dancing down the track to an aggressive shot. Stone-faced coach Rahul Dravid looked on from the dressing room as Pant departed without troubling the scorers. Hanuma Vihari got good support from Shardul Thakur for a certain period as the latter hit some cracking shots on his way to 28. Vihari remained unbeaten on 40 as pacers Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Marco Jansen all took three wickets each to bowl India out for 266.
Chasing a target of 240, Aiden Markram who had scored 21 runs in total in the previous three innings, got out on 31 to Shardul Thakur with R Ashwin getting Keegan Petersen out LBW for 28. Skipper Dean Elgar has again looked the savior for his team as he hung in and remained not out on 46 off 121 deliveries. With just 122 runs needed and eight wickets in hand, well-set captain Dean Elgar will look to take his team to victory on day four to square the series 1-1. The contest looks well and truly over for the visitors unless and until the pace battery rattle the Proteas line-up.
Meanwhile, here are some of the important stats and numbers from South Africa vs India, 2nd Test Day 3:
2 – Rishabh Pant recorded his second duck in Tests. His previous one came against England in 2018.
401 – Kagiso Rabada reached 400 wickets across formats for South Africa.
7 – Pacer Kagiso Rabada became the seventh Proteas bowler to reach 400 wickets landmark in international cricket.
18.63 – Rishabh Pant averages just 18.63 in 11 innings after the WTC final last year.
1 – Wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant has scored just one half-century in his last 13 Test innings.
2 – Second-century partnership for Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara outside Asia since 2018. Their previous century stand came against England at Lords in 2021.
7 – With 226 scalps, fast bowler Kagiso Rabada overtook Vernon Philander (224) and is now the seventh-highest wicket-taker for South Africa in Tests.
405 – Aiden Markram completed 400 fours in international cricket.
7 – Kagiso Rabada surpassed Morne Morkel (29) and became the seventh South Africa bowler with most Test wickets (30) at Johannesburg.
9 – Ajinkya Rahane scored a fifty after nine innings in Tests.
52 – Wicket 52 wickets, Duanne Olivier is now joint-third with Hugh Tayfield for most wickets by South African bower after the first 11 Tests. Vernon Philander (63) and Peter Pollock (57) are in the top two.
3 – Shardul Thakur became the third Indian bowler to take eight or more wickets in a Johannesburg Test. Anil Kumble and S Sreesanth took as many scalps in 1992 and 2006 respectively.