India bat first; Rahane, Bhuvneshwar return

Indian pace bowlers have been praised by Eric Simons for their showing in the opening two Tests against South Africa

India lost their second wicket with the score of 13 when Vijay tried to execute a cover drive off Kagiso Rabada but only managed to edge it behind.

Shikhar Dhawan also spent some time at the nets before the two openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul chose to give each other throwdowns. The latter kept his place in the side at the Wanderers but his performance on Wednesday did little to justify that decision.

Meanwhile, AB de Villiers, who struck a breezy 80, gave South Africa a cushion to extend their lead to more than 250 and along with Faf du Plessis, has looked assured among the Proteas batsmen.

If India were still in the contest, it was down to fielding lapses from South Africa.

Kohli fell, going for a hard drive and nicking a full-length delivery that shaped away from Lungi Ngidi to de Villiers at third slip. Two days out from the match, there was a generous covering of green grass on a surface baking under a hot sun, with groundsman Bethuel Buthelezi saying in a weekend newspaper interview that he was planning on preparing a "green mamba" which South Africans understand as a green pitch offering venomous assistance to seam bowlers.

Pujara should not have been on the crease when he finally got his first run as South Africa missed a trick after failing to review the previous ball.

Kohli survived two dropped chances before registering his fifty. India no. 3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was in the line of fire of the Protean pacers. India have now lost both the openers. IND 13/2.

Where the Proteas will feel they could have done better is that they gave Kohli two lives on 11 and 32 and they can be grateful that it did not cost them more runs against a batsman who almost always converts half-centuries into three-figure scores. This 84-run third-wicket partnership couldn't have done without him at the other end.

Parthiv Patel would follow him soon after as he attempted to cut a Morkel delivery over point only to edge it to de Kock.

All of a sudden, Indian went from 144-4 to 144-7. It is also possible that Rohit Sharma at 6 could have done a lot better coming in to bat after Rahane in the first two Tests. He showed some good application once again at the Wanderers with a robust innings.

The lowest score was by Pakistan in 2013, when they were bowled out for 49 in the first innings. The host will looking for clean sweep against India after defeating the visitors in the last two game of the series.

Then, there was South Africa captain Graeme Smith, whose words raised some eyebrows in Indian circles.

But there are some cautionary tales South Africa need to bear in mind before going all guns blazing in the series finale.



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