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India South Africa Second Test – Second Day Report

India began the second day of the Second Test in Pune already in a strong position. Winning the toss and deciding to bat first, they had reached stumps on Day One at 273 – 3, with Virat Kohli unbeaten on 85, and his vice-captain, Ajinkya Rahane 18 not out. Earlier in the day, opener Mayank Agarwal, had scored 108, and Cheteshwar Pujara 58.

The pair at the crease, continued to dominate the South African bowlers, and Kohli soon reached his 25th test century, as he looked to close the gap on his great rival, Steve Smith, at the top of the ICC world rankings. Rahane, too, was in good form, and he reached his half-century, before his became the first wicket of the day to fall, caught behind by wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock off the spinner Keshav Maharaj. He had struck 8 fours and shared a fourth wicket partnership worth 178 runs.

If South Africa thought they were in for any respite, they had another thing coming, as Kohli then combined with Ravindra Jadeja, as India continued to pile on the runs. The pair added 225 for the fifth wicket, taking the score past the 600 mark, until Jadeja fell nine short of his century, caught by Theunis de Bruyn, off the bowling of Senuran Muthusamy. His innings gad featured 2 sixes and 8 fours.

At the other end, his captain, Kohli had completed the sixth double century of his test career, and then gone on to surpass his previous best of 243, which he scored in the drawn test against Sri Lanka in Delhi, two years ago.

By the time he decided to declare the innings with the fall of Jadeja at 601 – 5, he had reached 254 not out, having struck 2 sixes and 33 fours.

None of the South African bowlers will look back on the innings with any fondness. The best, in terms of figures, was Kagiso Rabada, who finished with 3 for 93. The other two wicket takers, Maharaj and Muthusamy were very expensive, conceding close to four runs an over each.

Things soon became much tougher still for South Africa when they lost opener Aiden Markram, lbw to Umesh Yadav off just the eighth ball of their reply. Two overs later, his fellow opener, Dean Elgar, was bowled by Yadav as well.  When Temba Bavuma was then caught behind by Wriddiham Saha off the bowling of Mohammed Shami, South Africa had been reduced to 33 – 3.

Theunis de Bruyne and night-watchman Anrich Nortje saw the day out, but, at 39 -3, still trailing by 565 runs, with 7 first innings wickets still standing, the odds of South Africa saving this test already look very long.

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